Tokyo, Japan, May 20, 2016 - When the match between Japan and Italy at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo is over on Saturday evening, at least the winner will be celebrating with a spot at the Rio Olympic Games.
• The last World Olympic Qualification meeting between Japan and Italy came in 2004. Japan prevailed after five sets.
• In 2000, Italy beat Japan in straight sets at the World Olympic Qualification tournament.
• These teams have met twice at the Olympic Games, both won by Italy (2004 and 2012).
• Italy have won the last four meetings with Japan of which three in five sets. The five-set wins came at the World Grand Prix of 2014 and 2015 (2).
• Japan's last win over Italy came at the World Grand Prix of 2013 (3-0).
• Japan could qualify for the Olympic Games with a win against Italy.
• Japan are hoping to participate at the Olympic Games for a record 12th time. They won Olympic gold the first time volleyball was on the Olympic programme in 1964, and in 1976.
• Japan have won a record-equalling six medals at the Olympic Games (G2-S2-B2) alongside Soviet Union (G4-S2).
• Haruka Miyashita is currently the best setter in the competition with an average of 11.44 per set. Niverka Dharlenis Marte Frica (DOM) follows with 8.25 per set.
• Only Lonneke Slоetjes (NED, 54.4%) has a better spike success rate than Miyu Nagaoka (47.6%) in the competition.
• Japan also currently have the best receiver in the competition as Saori Kimura has an efficiency of 64.6%.
• Italy will qualify for the Olympic Games with a) a win, b) a 3-2 defeat against Japan or c) Thailand lose against Korea.
• Italy could qualify for their fifth consecutive Olympic Games and have yet to claim a medal.
• Italy lost their last match 3-0 to Netherlands, failing to win a set at the World Olympic Qualification tournament for the first time since 1996 (3-0 defeat to Ukraine).
• Only Kim Hee-Jin (KOR, 8) has served up more aces in this year's competition than Cristina Chirichella (7).
• Chirichella is currently the second-best blocker in the competition with 15 stuff blocks from 84 attempts, having an average by set of 0.88. Yang Hyo-Jin (KOR) leads with 20 blocks from 81 attempts (1.11 average).