The Dutch volleyball players have missed the first chance to win an Olympic ticket on Sunday. Coach Jamie Morrison's team went up in the Olympic qualifying tournament (OKT) in Catania with no chance of losing 3-0 to Italy.

The set positions were 25-23, 25-17 and 25-22 in favor of the home country, which, thanks to the victory, is certain of participating in next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The game between the Orange and Italy counted as the final of the OKT, the tournament in which the Netherlands had previously won 3-0 against Kenya and Belgium. An Olympic ticket was only available for the final winner.

In January next year, the Morrison team will have the last chance to force a placement for the Games in Tokyo. An OKT with eight participants is then held on each continent, with only the winner going to Japan.

For the top country of the Netherlands, that task is not easy, because the top seven of the European rankings, plus the organizing country, participate in the European qualification tournament.

The volleyball players, who are second in that ranking, hope to qualify for the fourth time for the Games. In Rio de Janeiro, the team finished fourth three years ago and in 1992 and 1996 the quarter-finals were the final station.

See also: These Dutch athletes are sure of the Tokyo Olympic Games