China and Japan qualified their women’s and men’s team respectively by winning the Asian Water Polo Olympic Qualification Tournament. The men’s tournament featured five teams playing in a round robin format with the highest ranked team qualifying to the Olympics. The women’s tournament had two teams playing a two game series where the team with the highest aggregate score qualifying to the Olympics. The Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Foshan, China from December 16th to December 20th 2015.
The women’s tournament was a two legged affair between China and Japan. In the first match China was able to create a lead and was leading by 7-3 at half-time. In the third quarter Japan cut the lead by one to trail 9-6 going into the final quarter. China however was able to counter Japan’s offensive and was able to put away Japan to win the first game by a score of 14-8.
In the second game China again built up a bit of a lead and was leading 6-3 at half-time. The rest of the match was quite defensive as neither China extended nor Japan cut the lead for any large length in time. China would win the second game with a score of 9-6 and qualified to the Olympics with an aggregate of 23-14.
In the men’s tournament the favourites to qualify were China, Japan and Kazakhstan. 2014 Asian Games champions Kazakhstan had a setback on the second day where a bad first quarter against Japan ultimately cost them the match as they were unable to recover over the game as they went on to lose 9-8. Kazakhstan would ultimately be eliminated from competition in its match against China. Over the match China would slowly build up its lead and was winning 7-4 going into the final quarter. While Kazakhstan attempted to comeback they were ultimately unable to as China would go on to with the match 10-8.
The final match of the round robin tournament between China and Japan ended up being the deciding match for Olympics qualification. Japan would go and take the sole Olympic quota by defeating China in a score of 16-10
This will be China women’s third Olympics in a row as they will be looking to improve on their two fifth place finishes. For Japan’s men this will be their eighth Olympic appearance, but this will be their first time competing since the 1984 Olympics. Japan’s women and China and Kazakhstan’s men will have a second opportunity to qualify to the Olympics at the final Olympic qualification tournament to be held in 2016.
Women’s Tournament Rankings
Men’s Tournament Rankings
- Saudi Arabia
- Flashscore. Asia: Olympic Games Women Qualification Tournament Results. Access on December 20 2015.
- Flashscore. Asia: Olympic Games Men Qualification Tournament Results. Access on December 20 2015.