St. Petersburg, Russia, August 9, 2019 – Tokyo Volleyball Qualification Pool E began with a five-setter between Iran and Cuba with the Asian team coming back from two sets down to claim victory in the tiebreaker 3-2 (23-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-10).
Iran – Cuba (August 9, 2019)
· Iran and Cuba meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
· Both nations won four of their eight major world level encounters with each other (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
· Cuba won the first four world level meetings (1991-2011), before Iran won the last four (2013-2018).
· Iran and Cuba met once at the Olympic Games. Iran won in straight sets in the 2016 group stage.
· Iran participated once in the Olympic Games, at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
· Iran finished in joint-fifth place in 2016 after losing their quarter-final match to Italy (3-0).
· Iran qualified for Rio 2016 as the best placed Asian team at the 2016 World Olympic Qualification tournament.
· Iran appeared in each of the last four world Olympic qualifying campaigns, from 2004 to 2016.
· Iran won each of their last four world Olympic qualification matches, since a 3-0 defeat against France in 2016.
· Cuba could appear in the Olympic Games for the eighth time. The only NORCECA nation with more participations is United States (11).
· Cuba also qualified for the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, but they boycotted those tournaments.
· Cuba’s best result in the Olympic Games came in 1976, when they won the bronze medal.
· Cuba finished in joint-11th and last place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, their first participation in the tournament since 2000.
· Cuba qualified for Rio 2016 by winning the North American Olympic qualification tournament.
· Cuba played in three of the last four world Olympic qualifying campaigns (2004, 2008 and 2012). They won six of their nine matches in those editions, only losing to Germany (twice 3-2) and Netherlands (3-1).
Russia – Mexico (August 9, 2019)
· Russia and Mexico meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
· Russia (incl. predecessors) won all four of their encounters with Mexico in major world level competitions (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
· One of those four world level meetings came at the Olympic Games. Russia (as Soviet Union) defeated Mexico 3-1 in the 1968 group stage.
· The only world level encounter between the nations since the dissolution of the Soviet Union was at the 2014 World Championship. Russia won 3-1 in the first round.
· Russia (NOC) competed in each of the last six Olympic Games, from 1996 to 2016. Soviet Union participated from 1964 to 1980 and in 1988, while Unified Team played in the 1992 edition.
· Russia (NOC) collected four Olympic medals in the men’s tournament: gold in 2012, silver in 2000 and bronze in 2004 and 2008.
· Soviet Union (G3-S2-B1) won a joint-record three gold and a joint-record six total medals in the Olympic Games.
· Russia appear for the first time in the last six world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2016).
· Russia (NOC) qualified for the Olympic Games by winning the European Olympic qualification tournament (3 times) or through the World Cup (3 times).
· Mexico participated twice in the Olympic Games, as the host nation in 1968 and in 2016.
· Mexico finished in (joint) last place in both editions: 10th in 1968 and joint-11th in 2016.
· Mexico won the world Olympic qualification tournament in Mexico City in 2016, their only participation in the last six world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2016).
· Mexico won two of their three matches in the qualification tournament in 2016, with the only exception a 3-2 defeat against Tunisia.
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