Tokyo, Japan, November 27, 2003 - The Men's and Women's 2003 World Cup tournaments, which have been hosted by Japan throughout the month of November, have been called "a truly remarkable success" by FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta in Tokyo on Thursday.
Both the men's and women's events, the first two Olympic qualifying tournaments for Athens 2004, have received fantastic support from the local Japanese public with sold out stadiums across the country greeting the best Volleyball players from around the world, while officials from the host broadcasters FUJI TV have confirmed TV ratings have been exceptional both in the Tokyo area and throughout the country.
"Thanks to the great organization and management of the Japanese Volleyball Association (JVA) the World Cups have been a truly remarkable success," Dr. Acosta said. "The FIVB is proud to have the JVA as organizers of this Olympic qualifying event, in what has been one of the most well structured tournaments in Volleyball.
"The hard work and dedication of all the local organizing committees have made for a very successful event. TV ratings of 21.9% for the women's event were exceptional and we are very satisfied with the great support shown for the Men's World Cup, where the public have been enthusiastically involved in all the matches making for a superb atmosphere."
The Women's World Cup, which ran from November 1-15, visited the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Kagoshima, Sendai, Sapporo, Toyama and Osaka with winners China, Brazil and USA claiming the three tickets to Athens while the men's tournament, which has been played in Tokyo, Nagano, Hiroshima, Hamamatsu, Fukuoka and Okayama, is on the eve of the fourth and final round in Tokyo with Brazil, Serbia and Montenegro, Italy, USA and France all still holding a chance of claiming a top three finish.
Both events have also attracted widespread press coverage in the Japanese domestic print and electronic media. On an international level, mainstream international news agencies and prominent sports electronic media have led the charge to bring stories of the World Cup to the world.
The Men's World Cup brings the curtain down on an incredible month of Volleyball on Sunday, where the fantastic crowd support is expected to continue at Tokyo's Yoyogi Stadium and Metropolitan Gym for the final day of matches and closing ceremony.
For more information on the 2003 World Cups visit www.fivb.org