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29.11.2018, 09:44
Four World Championship Play-off berths to be decided
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PREVIEW: Women’s World Championship 2019 Qualification Phase 1 continues with the three remaining playing groups taking the court for their three-day tournaments on Friday.
 

Four World Championship Play-off berths to be decided

After Belarus qualified for the World Championship 2019 Play-offs on Sunday, three other teams are set to join them in the next phase when the remaining phase 1 tournaments are played this coming weekend. Groups 1, 2 and 4 will take to the court in Slovakia, Switzerland and FYR Macedonia, respectively, for three days of competition starting on Friday.

Belarus have already confirmed their place in the play-offs, topping Group 3 ahead of Greece, Portugal and Italy. Greece may be lucky and follow Belarus into the play-offs, if they finish as the best second-ranked side overall – but they have a nervous wait until the other groups conclude on Sunday to find out whether they meet the criterion.

The winners of the other three groups will advance to the play-offs, along with the best second-ranked team from all four groups. In Group 1, Slovakia will host Kosovo, Ukraine and Israel. Both Slovakia and Ukraine made it to the play-off stage for the World Championship 2017, while Kosovo and Israel ended their campaigns in phase 1.

Switzerland will welcome Faroe Islands, Lithuania and Finland to Siggenthal Station for the Group 2 tournament – and all four nations have the opportunity to reach the play-offs after missing out in 2017. Switzerland, Faroe Islands and Lithuania exited the qualifiers in 2017 in phase 1, while Finland did not play.

Group 4, featuring Turkey, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan and Iceland, will play in Skopje, where the hosts will aim to reach the play-offs for the first time since 2013. Azerbaijan did not play the World Championship Qualifiers in 2017. Turkey and Iceland were eliminated in phase 1.


TEXT: Courtney Gahan/jh
 
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