LEIPZIG, Germany, May 16, 2003 - Defending champions Serbia & Montenegro will face a showdown with World League champions and World No 1 Russia in a dream match after both teams were drawn in the same Pool for the preliminary round of the 2003 Men's Senior European Championships on Friday in Leipzig, Germany.
The clash of the two volleyball superpowers will dominate Pool I, which also consists of Poland, Greece, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Pool II features Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France and Slovakia.
Coach of the hosts Germany Stelian Moculescu said he was relatively happy having been drawn in Pool II. "It could have been better, but also could have been worse," he said. "But from now it is definitely my favorite group.
"I don't believe that Italy is yet within our range and France is always an uncomfortable opponent but our goal is the same, and that is to reach the final round in Berlin."
The drawing of lots marked the official start of the Final Round of the 2003 Men's Senior European Championship, which will be held from September 5-14 in the German cities of Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Berlin.
Pool action runs from September 5-11, where the first two ranked teams of each group will qualify for the semifinals, to be played in Berlin on September 13. The final is scheduled for September 14 in the Max Schmeling Halle in the German capital of Berlin.