Two of the coaches in the semifinals for positions 5-8 - Germany coach Giovanni Guidetti (left) and Italy coach Massimo Barbolini
Tokyo, Japan, November 12, 2010 – Germany coach Giovanni Guidetti hopes to round off a superb campaign for his side with a win against Turkey in the first semifinal in positions 5-8 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday.
Speaking at the official press conference on Friday, Guidetti said: "We are really happy about what we did up to now, we came to Japan hoping to make the final eight group, now we are going into a very, very difficult group. I think our team did very well from the first day of the competition until now, I'm very satisfied about what we did so far.
"Now we must face Turkey who are a very good team with very good players and producing some excellent play right now. They have the top scorer of the World Championship, Neslihan Darnel. She is an extraordinary player who can make every point a good one. I hope my team have the energy to fight until the end, and can provide some good Volleyball until the end of this championship."
World No.15 Germany have had a superb tournament so far having guaranteed themselves their best finish since 1994 when they claimed fifth and a top 10 position for the first time in four editions. They achieved an impressive victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday to seal third spot in Pool F and give themselves momentum going into Saturday. The two teams have met five times with Germany winning three and Turkey two; Germany prevailed in the last encounter at the European Championship but Turkey won four years ago in the playoffs for 9-12 places at the 2006 tournament.
By qualifying for the 5-8 semifinals with a fourth-place finish in Pool E, Turkey, ranked 22nd in the world, have already recorded their best-ever position at a World Championship, surpassing the 10th-place finish they earned in 2006. However, despite this they will be looking to go even further having topped Poland, China and Korea in Pool E, all of whom are higher in the world rankings.
"We are participating for the second time at the World Championship," Turkey coach Mehmet Bedestenlioglu said. "We have tried to do our best to go all the way here. We hope we can do our best for our semifinal matches. We have met Germany so many times in many games, and we want to be successful against them this time."
The other semifinal for positions 5-8 sees world No.4 Italy take on Serbia, who are ranked ninth. Italy, who finished fourth in Pool F, looked stunned after Cuba narrowly beat them to end their hopes of a 1-4 semifinal place on Wednesday and their captain, Eleonora Lo Bianco, cut a heart-broken figure in the press conference following the match. However, the 2002 world champions now need to pick themselves up as they face the third team in Pool E, Serbia, whom they have beaten in their last four matches.
"Now we are in this round, (it's) a very important round," Italy coach Massimo Barbolini said. "We have not been able to play in a consistent way for all nine matches that we've played, but now this is a very important round for my team. It's very important get fifth in the World Championship, and I'm sure we'll do our best to do this."
Serbia, as Serbia and Montenegro, recorded two wins over Italy at the 2006 Women's World Championship on their way to a bronze medal. Italy finished fourth then but the 2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners look to be a different proposition this time.
"I can say that I'm really pleased how we played until now," Serbia coach Zoran Terzic said. "As Mr Barbolini said, it's important to play for fifth to eighth place, and it will be difficult for us. It's almost like the European championship. It's a difficult group. If you meet Italy in semi-finals, it's normal — but if you meet Italy for fifth to eighth place, it means you're unlucky."