Upbeat Thais face Kazakhs
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Upbeat Thais face Kazakhs

Nootsara and Co working to deal with the high block of tall and strong opponents

The Thai spikers celebrate winning a point against Australia in their final pool match on Thursday.
The Thai spikers celebrate winning a point against Australia in their final pool match on Thursday.

The Thai women's volleyball team take on Kazakhstan in the semi-finals of the Asian Olympic qualification in Nakhon Ratchasima today.

South Korea and Taiwan square off in the first semi-final match at Chatchai Hall.

Today's matches will be shown live on Work Point TV (34) at 3.30pm and 6pm respectively.

The winners of today's semi-finals will battle it out in the final tomorrow for the sole ticket for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Thailand beat Kazakhstan 3-0 when the two teams last met at the Olympic qualification tournament in Japan for the 2016 Rio Games.

Thailand are looking to qualify for the Olympics for the first time.

"Kazakhstan have some very experienced players in the team. Their players are very tall so we've been working on how to cope with their high block," said Thailand captain Nootsara Tomkom after yesterday's training session.

"We played Australia in our final pool match and their style of play is similar to the Kazakhs," she added.

"It will be a tough match against Kazakhstan but we are confident."

Thailand qualified for the semi-finals after winning Pool A with two 3-0 victories over Taiwan and Australia. Taiwan, who defeated Australia, made it through as pool runners-up.

Setter Nootsara and libero Yupa Sanitklang are the players with the best records in their categories in the preliminary round.

South Korea have also been in fine form, winning all their matches in Pool B without dropping a set. Kazakhstan qualified for the semi-finals as pool runners-up.

The winners from the Asian qualification will join other four winners from Europe, North America, South America and Africa qualifications in Tokyo.

Japan have automatically qualified as hosts while Serbia, China, the United States, Brazil, Russia and Italy have booked their Tokyo tickets after winning intercontinental qualifiers in August last year.

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