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Japan name preliminary squads for upcoming season

Saori Kimura, who was part of Japan's FIVB World Grand Prix and FIVB Women's Grand Champions Cup squad last year, was named in the selection after picking up the MVP award in the final round of the V League
Tokyo, Japan, April 14, 2010 – Japan’s coaching team have named 33 women and 53 men who will help provide the bulk of the squads that each side will take to the FIVB World Grand Prix as well as the FIVB World Championships later this year.

Japan are hosting the Women’s World Championship from October 29 to November 14 whilst the Men’s World Championship will take place in Italy from September 24 to October 10 with the FIVB World Grand Prix taking place across the globe from August 6 to 29.

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“Compared to other years, we have a longer period of training camps this season, so we can try many different young players,” Tatsuya Ueta, Japan’s senior men’s coach, said following the selection. “I expect these young players to rise up and boost the team. Our main goal for the season is the FIVB World Championship in September in Italy.”

“We have the FIVB World Grand Prix in August, and one of the three major international tournaments, the FIVB Women’s World Championship, starting on October 29 in Japan,” Masayoshi Manabe, Japan’s senior women’s coach added. “For these tournaments, we want to work as a team and do our best. We want to get a good result in the Grand Prix and we want to challenge for the World Championship with the same force.”

The sides were announced following the conclusion of Japan’s V League on Sunday. Toray Arrows women’s team become the first side to win three successive titles with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-16) victory over JT Marvelous whilst Panasonic Panthers men’s team were crowned champions for a second time when they overcame Sakai Blazers 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 27-25) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Saori Kimura, who played for Japan at last year’s FIVB World Grand Prix and FIVB Women’s Grand Champions Cup, and Kunihiro Shimuzu, who was involved in last year’s FIVB World League and FIVB Men’s Grand Champions Cup, picked up the MVP awards. Both are included in the squad announced by the Japanese coaching staff.

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