Tokyo 2020 men’s preview: Supremacy, legacy on the line

The wait is over for sitting volleyball fans around the world as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sitting volleyball tournament will finally start on Friday, August 27 at the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Six Rio 2016 returnees, including Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Brazil, Germany and China will battle for gold, with European team RPC and hosts Japan rounding out the cast of the eight-team men’s field.

Iran have dominated the sport since 1988, winning six out of eight gold medals. One of the many highlights of the competition is their long-running Paralympic rivalry  with European powerhouse Bosnia and Herzegovina that stems from way back  to Sydney 2000.

Since then, these two teams have won two gold medals each in the last four Paralympic editions. Bosnia and Herzegovina won gold at Athens 2004 and London 2012, and Iran triumphed at Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016.

Hosts Japan are making its debut in the Paralympics and are pooled together with Rio 2016 silver medallists Brazil. Japan will open the competition against RPC on Friday, August 27 at 14.00 local time.

Germany earned its right to take part in the Games at the Qualifying tournament which took place on its home soil in Duisburg in June this year and will start its Paralympic journey against defending champions Iran on Saturday August 28 at 10.00 am.

China are looking to improve its standing from Rio 2016 where it finished 7th overall, and will have tough competition on its first outing as it faces Brazil on Saturday, August 28 at 18.30.

The teams are split in the following pools:

Pool A

  • Japan
  • RPC
  • Egypt
  • Bosnia Herzegovina

Pool B Men

  • Iran
  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • China

The following players have been identified as the Ones to Watch all throughout the competition:

Link to the Tokyo 2020 page here.