Russia, Poland pick up London volleyball berths

TOKYO — Russia and Poland earned men’s volleyball berths in the London Olympics on Saturday by reaching the title match in the round-robin World Cup tournament.

The third and last qualifying spot from the tournament will be determined on Sunday between Brazil and Japan.

Russia (9-1) beat Iran 31-29, 25-21, 25-18. The Russians can win their sixth World Cup, and first since 1999, in a showdown with Poland on Sunday.

Poland lost to Brazil 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-12, but qualified for London by winning the first two sets.

Brazil, the two-time defending World Cup champion, gave Russia its only loss.

“Tomorrow’s match (against Japan) will be like an Olympic final for us. If we win, we are in for London,” Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said.

Brazil leads Italy in the standings on sets. Italy beat Japan and meets Iran on Sunday.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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