October 03, 2003 - Korea and USA launch the FIVB Women's World Cup tournament on November 1 when they clash in Tokyo at 12:00 (local time) to kick off the quest for a fast track entry into the Olympic Games in Athens, 2004.
The full match schedules for the 2003 Women's and Men's World Cups were confirmed on Friday following the drawing of lots in Tokyo and are available at www.fivb.org.
The 12 teams in the men's and women's tournaments play a round robin format in two groups in which all teams meet each other.
The other matches on the opening day of the women's competition in Tokyo see Italy play Egypt at 14:30 before the Grand Opening ceremony at 17:00. The final match sees Argentina take on hosts Japan. Meanwhile, in the parallel city of Kagoshima, the Dominican Republic plays Cuba at 12:05 before a big clash between heavyweights Brazil and China. Then in a repeat of the European Continental Championship final Poland plays Turkey at 18:05.
The women's competition runs to November 15, followed by the men's event.
The World Cup is played in four rounds over 11 days (one game per team per day).
Matches are played in Tokyo, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapparo and Toyama with both groups meeting in Osaka for the three day final round. The final ranking is determined by the total points gained where a win equals 2 points and a loss returns 1.
The men's competition begins on November 16 with a face-off between China and Olympic champions Serbia and Montenegro in Tokyo. Other first day matches see USA play Canada and Japan take on Egypt while in Nagano, Italy plays Tunisia, France plays Venezuela and Korea meets Brazil.
The men's tournament then moves to Hiroshima, Hamamatsu, Fukuoka and Okayama before finishing in Tokyo on November 30.
Go to www.fivb.org for the full match schedule and other news