India’s hopes bleak at Asian volleyball championship after Qatar loss

Losses to Bahrain and Qatar mean that India face Japan in a must-win match next and hope other results go their way.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by Asian Volleyball Confederation

The men’s Indian volleyball team is all but out of contention for the final eight of the Asian volleyball championship 2021 after a straight-sets loss to Qatar at the Chiba Port Arena, Japan on Monday.

India lost to Qatar 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-20) in Group A of the Asian volleyball championship. Qatar are ranked world No. 30 while India are world No. 84, according to the latest International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) rankings.

Qatar captain Ibrahim Ibrahim helped his team with 12 points, but it was India’s Charles Jerome Vinith who scored a match-high of 19 points.

The Indian volleyball team had earlier lost to Bahrain and sit bottom of the group with one match remaining against nine-time champions Japan on Tuesday. It is a must-win clash for the Indian team against world No. 10 Japan.

India must finish in the top two in Group A to progress to the last eight.

With Bahrain, Qatar and Japan all winning one match each, India have to beat Japan in straight sets to get points on the board and hope that the other matches conclude in straight sets too.

If any of the remaining Group A matches not involving India are decided in more than three sets, the Indian volleyball team will be out of the competition regardless of their result against Japan.