Gong Xiangyu (L) of China spikes during a Pool A match of the Paris 2024 women's volleyball qualifiers in Ningbo, China on Sept. 23, 2023. (Xinhua/Suo Xianglu)
China has fallen short of expectations in the qualifiers for the Olympic women's volleyball tournament.
NINGBO, China, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Dominican Republic overpowered China 3-1 here on Saturday, seizing a favorable position in striving for a 2024 Olympic women's volleyball ticket.
After its 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-14 victory over China, the Dominican side now has 15 points from five victories and one loss, which ties leader Serbia in Pool A.
The Dominican Republic, ranked ninth in the world, consecutively upset the third-ranked Serbia and sixth-ranked China in the Olympic qualifiers.
"It's a crazy match, especially in this stadium considered as the temple of the Chinese women's volleyball team. We are happy to take the victory, and it's our honor to overcome China at this place," said the Dominican team's head coach Kwiek Marcos.
Also on Saturday, Serbia powered past the Netherlands 25-19, 25-16, 25-20, while Canada smashed Mexico 25-22, 25-22, 25-17.
Ding Xia (middle) of China celebrates scoring during the game. (Xinhua/Suo Xianglu)
Now the Netherlands has 12 points from four wins and two losses, ranked the third in Pool A. Also with four wins and two losses, Canada is ranked fourth with 11 points.
China now dropped to the fifth place, earning 11 points with just three wins.
With just one round left to play, the rankings mean that China and Canada have missed out on direct qualification for the Olympics.
Serbia, the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands are still in contention for the two Olympic tickets.
Sunday's results will be decisive as Serbia faces China while the Dominicans meet the Netherlands. ■