Iran take lead in race for World Championship tickets
Iran remain undefeated at the Asian qualifiers in Ardabil
Iran handed China their first defeat in the tournament with a 3-0 (25-21, 29-27, 25-20) sweep, as M. Ebadipour scored 14 points and F. Ghaemi added 11.
Earlier in the day Qatar had shut out Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18) to remain in contention for their first ever World Championship appearance, after Ratmt Wadidie scored 15 points.
Play continues Sunday in the five-team, single round robin tournament at Ardabil, with Korea meeting China at 15:30 local time (11:00 GMT) and Iran hosting Kazakhsan at 18:30 (14:00 GMT).
Last month Japan and Australia claimed the other two berths available to Asian teams, through a qualification tournament held in Canberra.
Hosts Italy and Bulgaria, defending champions Poland have direct tickets to the FIVB's flagship tournament. France, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Serbia, Finland, and Belgium from Europe plus Japan and Australia from Asia, and Brazil from South America have already secured their berths through continental qualifiers.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2018
FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship 2018
FIVB.com - Volleyball
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