Argentina, known as Las Panteras (The Panthers), will be competing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the first time, after being crowned champions earlier this year in the South American Olympic Qualification Tournament on home soil in Bariloche. Argentina swept the tournament, dropping only one set, with victories over Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile. The team has enjoyed success at the South American Championships, accumulating six silver medals and 12 bronzes over the years. They took bronze medals at the Pan American Cup in 2008, 2013 and 2015; and at the Final Four Cup in 2008 and 2010.
Argentina have played at the World Grand Prix for the sixth consecutive time and in the 2015 edition they finished seventh in Group 2. It was their latest step in a gradual decline as they finished 17th in 2014, 16th in 2013, 15th in 2012 and 14th in 2011. Their level-17th place finish at the World Championship concluded a disappointing 2014 season as they returned to the competition for the first time since 2002 and their only win came against bottom-placed Tunisia. The Argentine team has certainly improved as their new players gained experience from playing in the World Cup and in the continental Olympic qualification tournament. Now that the Olympic qualification is in the bag, things are looking brighter for the Argentine squad as they face tougher opponents, which will help them become one of the world’s future elite teams.