June 20, 2003 - World League debutants the Czech Republic has surprised everyone to be one step away from qualifying for the World League Finals with only one weekend remaining in Pool D - Pool D started one week ahead of the three other Pools - but their President is expecting more of the same.
The Czech Republic currently holds the automatic qualifying spot in Pool D for the World League Finals, to be held in Madrid next month, in first place with 17 points with Greece, their opponents this weekend, and France on 16 and 15 points respectively.
After turning around an opening run of two defeats at the hands of France and another loss in Greece to win seven on the trot, the Czech Republic must now in one of its two matches in Ostrava this weekend to clinch the World League Finals spot and the President of the Czech Republic Volleyball Federation Pavel Kucera says it's well within reach.
"Let's hope we will beat Greece at least in one of the two matches," he said. "To be honest I believe we'll manage to win both of them.
"It would be great to advance to the finals from the first place. Though we are newcomers to the World League we've proved we can challenge anyone.
"We highly appreciate the opportunity we were given to join the world's elite in the World League and given the circumstances, the results of our team surpassed our expectations. Following the first three losses our players managed to get used to the competition and seized the opportunity."
The Czech Republic play Greece on Saturday starting at 12:30GMT followed by their second game on Sunday at 15:00GMT.