Lausanne, Switzerland, October 16, 2017 – With all the drama of the South American qualifiers this past weekend in Arequipa and the last ticket awarded to Argentina, the lineup of 24 teams to compete for the ultimate trophy in world volleyball is now complete with the conclusion of the qualifying process for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship which will be held in Japan from September 29 to October 20 next year.
All the top favourites will be in Japan next year, including defending champions USA (who were spared the qualifying process as holders of the title since 2014) and leaders of the medals table Russia (with seven gold medals, including as the USSR).
Russia will also be record participants in 2018 with their 17th appearance in 18 editions of the FIVB’s flagship competition, having only missed out in 1967.
Other participants who will be making their 16th appearance in Japan 2018 are Brazil and Japan – the Asian side went through without qualifiers as hosts, and the South Americans as winners of their continental championship this year. USA will also be making their 16th appearances in the World Championship.
There’s only one debutant in 2018, after Trinidad & Tobago claimed one of seven NORCECA spots this past weekend.
However, there are four historical medallists who will not be present in Japan next year.
Poland, who had a silver (1952) and two bronze (1956 and 1962) from the early days of the World Championship failed in their quest at home in Warsaw to make Round 3 of the European qualifiers when they lost in dramatic fashion to the Czech Republic.
The Czechs themselves, bronze medallists as Czechoslovakia in 1952 and 1960, did make it through to Round 3, but bowed out to the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
Romania, silver medallists in 1956, also failed to make it past Round 2 of the European qualifiers.
And Peru, who had their heyday in the 1980s with a silver (1982) and a bronze (1986) will be missing from the World Championship for the second time running, after falling at home this past weekend.
Finally, North Korea, who were bronze medallists in 1970, fell to South Korea and Thailand in the Asian qualifiers. North Korea haven’t qualified for a World Championship since 1986.
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