The FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 will start on Friday at 12.30 in Tokyo, then at 13.30 in Matsumoto, Hamamatsu and Osaka
Tokyo, Japan, October 27, 2010 – The 16th edition of the FIVB Women's World Championship is less than two days away and all 24 teams are now installed in their bases in Japan. The action gets under way in Tokyo on Friday at 12.30 (local time) and then at Hamamatsu, Matsumoto and Osaka at 13.30.
A total of 104 matches will be played across five Japanese cities during the tournament, running from October 29- November 14, and Russia, the most successful nation in women’s Volleyball, will be looking to defend their title. The current world No.7, Russia won the title in 2006, finishing on top of the podium for the first time since the fifth of their triumphs as the USSR in 1990.
Looking to push them close will be the Olympic champions and 2006 silver medallists, Brazil. The South Americans are world No.1 and rank among the hot favourites for the title having come off a very successful year in 2009 despite losing to Italy to relinquish their Grand Champions Cup title.
World Grand Prix champions USA are another side who will be in strong contention for the medals, having brought Brazil's successful run of World Grand Prix title triumphs to an end this year. With the victorious Olympic men's coach Hugh McCutcheon in charge, the world No.2 look to have found form at the right time having achieved a run of 11 successive victories to claim their third World Grand Prix title.
Round one of the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 is split into four pools of six teams with the top four from each pool advancing to the second round. Pool A in Tokyo comprises hosts Japan (5), Poland (8), 2006 bronze medallists Serbia (9), Algeria (14), Peru (17) and Costa Rica (31). Peru and Algeria, and Serbia and Costa Rica will play each other on the opening day for the first time in an FIVB tournament.
Pool B in Hamamatsu sees Brazil (1) looking to maintain their unbeaten record against Kenya (35) in their opening match while the Netherlands (10) are in a similar position against the Czech Republic (38), and likewise 2002 world champions and World Grand Champions Cup holders Italy (4) against Puerto Rico (13).
Pool C in Matsumoto features an intriguing-looking clash between World Grand Prix winners USA (2) and Thailand (12), which is preceded by Germany (15) against Kazakhstan (16) and followed by Croatia (45) against three-time champions Cuba (6).
Pool D in Osaka sees defending champions Russia (7) play the Dominican Republic (11) having never lost in five matches against their Central American opponents. Canada (24) will take on Korea (21) seeking a first victory over their Asian rivals in 11 meetings, while China (3) play Turkey (22) looking to repeat the win they recorded at the 2003 World Cup in the countries' only other previous encounter.