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Lausanne, Switzerland, May 23, 2016 - The International Volleyball Federation informed after the last Qualy in Puerto Rico and Japan took place this weekend, the definitive 12 teams for the Women's Indoor Volleyball Olympic Games Rio 2016 with the Argentine Seniors' Women Team, Las Panteras being drawn together with the host team of Brazil, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Cameron in Pool A while in Pool B, the USA will compete with China, Serbia, Italy, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.

While Italy finishing on top of the Qualy in Japan, followed by the Netherlands, the host team of Japan and Korea; n Puerto Rico, the host team won the last berth with a place already confirmed for Brazil (organizing country), Russia (Europe), Cameron (Africa), USA (North America), China (World Cup Champ), Serbia (World Cup finalist) and our Las Panteras (South America).

This is the first ever participation of the Argentine Women's Team at an Olympic event and they will face the strong Brazil and Russia; the new good rivals of Japan and Korea, both with Olympic Games experience while Cameron, the African Champion, as Argentina also participating for the first ever time at an Olympic competition.

Prior to the Olympic Games, that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, August 5th - 21st Argentina will face the World Grand Prix as first competition on this years' demanding calendar that will see Las Panteras playing in Tucuman one of the Intercontinental Round weekends starting June 3rd in Tucuman.

The teams have been split into two pools of six, with the top four sides from each progressing to the elimination round.

The pools were allocated using the serpentine system, with those with the highest world ranking as of January 1, 2016 drawn first into Pool B after hosts Brazil (who are automatically placed in Pool A).

Brazil and Korea were both in the same pool at London 2012, with the latter coming out on top on that occasion. The hosts will have a chance to scout 2012 bronze medallists Japan when they clash in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix on June 10.

Russia will be hoping to end their 12 year drought of Olympic medals having last stood on the podium at the Athens 2004 Games where they claimed silver. They will also meet Japan ahead of the tournament in the World Grand Prix on June 26.

Korea will no doubt be eyeing up their match with Japan in what will be a repeat of the bronze medal match four years ago. The two teams recently met at the Women’s World Olympic Qualification with Korea coming out on top in four sets.

Argentina and Cameroon will both be competing at their first Olympic Games and whilst the South American side will come to the tournament with some momentum following a World Grand Prix Group 2 campaign, Cameroon will have to pull on the experience gained from the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 – their last major international tournament outing.

The clash between USA and China will be a repeat of the Women’s World Championship final, where Karch Kiraly’s US side claimed the victory. China have had success since then however, claiming the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup in 2015.

The two teams were also in the same pool at London 2012, as were Serbia who return to the Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing 2008.

Five of the six teams will arrive in Rio with some knowledge of at least one of their opponents, with many set to clash during the World Grand Prix.

USA will meet China twice – on June 12 and 26 – as well as the Netherlands on June 25. China will also clash with Serbia on June 18 and the Netherlands on June 24, while the Serbians will themselves meet European rivals Italy on June 18.

Olympic Games
Rio 2016 Olympic Games

World Olympic Qualification Tournament websites:
Women's WOQT in Japan
Men's WOQT in Japan
Women's WOQT in Puerto Rico
Men's WOQT in Mexico

Related information:
Olympic qualification process