Canada’s volleyball teams vie for Olympic berths this weekend

Canada’s volleyball teams play for a chance this week to book direct spots to the Olympic Games in Rio through a pair of regional tournaments.

The men are in Edmonton’s Saville Community Sports Centre from January 8 to 10 taking on Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba in that order during those three days with the winner going to Rio 2016. Teams that finish second and third will advance to different Olympic qualification tournament this spring.

Canada women's volleyball team (photo: Volleyball Canada).

Canada women’s volleyball team (photo: Volleyball Canada).

The women’s qualification tournament starts a day earlier, Thursday night in Lincoln, Nebraska against top ranked United States in front of home fans. The other two teams in the tourney are Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Like the men’s situation above, second and third place teams will still have a chance at Rio through additional qualifiers.

The Olympic Games kick off with the official Opening Ceremony on August 5. The host country, Brazil, has already received its entry to the men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments. Additionally, the United States, Italy and Argentina have booked spots on the men’s side, while China and Serbia have already qualified for the women’s Olympic volleyball tournament.