Final spots for volleyball tourney secured

Updated: May 30, 2004, 3:28 PM ET
Associated Press

Australia and the Netherlands won the final spots for the men's volleyball tournament at the Athens Olympics during separate qualifying tournaments Sunday.

The Australians advanced to the 12-team field in Athens despite losing to Iran on Sunday on the final day of a qualifier in Tokyo. The Dutch beat Spain in Madrid to finish its event undefeated.

The Australians lost 25-19, 26-24, 25-23 and tied China for third place but advanced because of a better points ratio.

France, which secured an Olympic berth Saturday, finished first with a 7-0 record after downing Algeria. Eight nations were competing in the seven-day, round-robin tournament. The overall winner and the best Asian team gained berths for Athens.

The rest of the men's Olympic field: Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Tunisia and the United States.

In Madrid, the Dutch, the 1996 Olympic champion, beat Spain 25-20, 25-20, 26-24 to finish the four-nation event 3-0. Cuba finished 2-1 after beating winless Cameroon and will miss an Olympics for the first time since 1988.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press