OSAKA – Japan kept its Olympic dream alive with a dramatic 3-2 win over Cuba at the women’s volleyball World Cup on Friday.
Japan won 25-21 in the fourth set to level the match at Namihaya Dome before outlasting the Olympic champion in a tense tiebreaker 15-13 for its seventh win of the tournament and a chance of claiming the last remaining berth for next year’s games in Athens.
Japan was handed an Olympic lifeline earlier in the day when Italy was brushed aside 3-0 by Asian champion China and could earn the final berth for the next year’s game in Athens on the final day of the tournament.
Japan is level in the standings with Italy and the United States, which was outclassed 3-0 by Brazil.
Brazil and table-topping China have already booked their tickets to Greece.
To qualify for the Olympics, Japan needs to beat China in its final match on Saturday and hope the U.S. slips up against Cuba and Brazil beats the Italians.
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