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News Details

Date: 3/19/2016

The Netherlands claimed one of the two 2016 Olympic Games places available at Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament I in Metz with a win against Japan on Saturday evening, leaving the second to be decided between France and Japan on Sunday. 

Sunday March 20 in Les Arenes, Metz
Tunisia vs Netherlands 17:45 local time

The final day of Olympic Qualification matches in Metz opens with a game of little consequence, as the Netherlands have already secured their place at Rio 2016 with two straight wins while Tunisia are out of the running with two consecutive losses. 

For both teams it will likely present an opportunity to practice combinations, with Tunisia coach Mohamed Riadh Sanaa working on developing a young squad at present, while Netherlands coach Henk Groener will probably choose to rest his stars and gain experience for his ‘second tier’. 

France vs Japan 19:30 local time

This match is the showstopper of the evening in Metz, as the final whistle will bring confirmation of the second team to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games from Tournament I. 

Both France and Japan have recorded one loss, against the Netherlands, as well as one win, versus African champions Tunisia. With two points each, the teams now take to the court for a crunch match that will determine who will play in Rio in August and who will be watching from afar. 

As it was before their match against the Netherlands, it is difficult to predict just how far Japan will be able to push their more experienced opponent. The Asian team will be fresh with determination and just enough confidence after they kept pace with the Netherlands into the second half of their meeting, only to lose decisively in the last third. 

They can therefore be expected to do something similar against France, with the key factor their ability to push through to the buzzer. 

Though France may have lost some confidence in their opening 17:24 loss against the Netherlands, they can be expected to be at the top of their game when they step on the court for this must-win match in front of a supportive home crowd. 

France at their best should prove too much of a challenge for Japan, but can the Asian team rise to the challenge? 

Photos: Stephane Pillaud