The Russian team, led by coach Iury Marichev for the
first time this season, narrowly missed out on a spot in
this year’s World Grand Prix Finals, but regrouped and
refocused in time to take the European Championship title.
In their first year without Ekaterina Gamova, Russia could
prove to be Brazil’s fiercest rivals at the World Grand
Champions Cup. After all, they still have a score to settle
after the Olympic quarterfinal in London, when Russia,
who had until that point been outstanding, lost to Brazil
after having six match points. Brazil then went on to win
The US team, coached by Karch Kiraly – himself a volleyball
and beach volleyball Olympic champion – since the end of
2012, have yet to win the World Grand Champions Cup.
They will be looking to reverse their fortunes after losing
the 2012 Olympic final to Brazil and a sixth place finish in
this year’s World Grand Prix Finals.
The US earned their place in this year’s World Grand
Champions Cup by winning the NORCECA Women’s
Continental Championship, when they defeated the
Dominican Republic 3-1 in the final.
However, the Dominican Republic re-join the line-up of
teams taking part in the World Grand Champions Cup as
the wild card selection made by the FIVB, the Japanese
Volleyball Association (JVA) and the Nippon Television
Network Corporation (NTV).
They will be joined by Thailand, who won their ticket to the
World Grand Champions Cup with a stunning 3-0 win over
world No. 3 and London Olympics bronze medallists Japan
at the Asian Championship in September. The big question
ahead of the tournament is what the hosts of the World
Grand Champions Cup are capable of accomplishing this
time around. The event has always been held in Japan, yet
the hosts have never done better than third place (2001).
Will captain Saori Kimura’s team pull off a win this time?
One thing is for sure, volleyball fans are guaranteed their fair
share of action when the six teams take to the court to play
for the coveted World Grand Champions Cup title this year.
Current Olympic champions and World Grand Prix title holders Brazil are hoping to claim a second title at the Women’s Grand Champions
Cup in 2013
FIVB VOLLEYBALL WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP
JAPAN 2013 MEDIA GUIDE