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Women's World Champs set for thrilling finale

As part of Brazil's prolific attack, Jaqueline Carvalho is likely to feature heavily in the final of the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship against defending champions Russia
Tokyo, Japan, November 14, 2010 – The 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship reaches its climax on Sunday as defending champions Russia take on World No.1 Brazil in the final of the quadrennial tournament following two thrilling semifinals on Saturday in Tokyo.

After 11 days of competition the championship is now down to just two teams, both of whom come into the match unbeaten. Hosts Japan will take on 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix champions the USA in the bronze medal match while elsewhere Turkey and Italy will clash for fifth place, and Poland and China battle for ninth.

Final
Russia (7) v Brazil (1) at_Yoyogi National Stadium
Russia came through their semifinal match with arch-rivals USA with a solid 3-1 win and have looked good throughout the tournament. They remain unbeaten after ten matches in the tournament and have only lost six World Championship matches since 1994. The defending champions have a spiking machine in star player Ekaterina Gamova, the fourth-highest scorer in the competition so far, and will be confident of successfully defending their title after dropping just seven sets throughout this event. But Brazil have had a successful few years and the world No.1 will be desperate to clinch their first World Championship title. They had a tough match against hosts Japan and at times were mere points away from losing. However, they remain unbeaten and have prolific scorers across the court. The two teams last met in the Final Round of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix where Brazil edged a narrow 3-2 victory. Overall, Russia have recorded 18 wins and 17 losses against their South American rivals meaning this match could easily go either way.

Bronze medal match
Japan (5) v USA (2) at Yoyogi National Stadium
Japan will be desperately disappointed with their loss to Brazil on Saturday and will feel their performance should have warranted a place in the final. However, they now have to pick themselves up to face the United States, the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix champions, and add a seventh medal to their World Championship tally. The Asian side have had a good tournament and their passionate fans will want them to finish on a high with a final win over the USA against whom they have recorded 19 wins and 23 defeats in the past. The USA will be annoyed they went down to rivals Russia but will want at least a podium place to add to their World Grand Prix gold and star player Destinee Hooker is sure to feature heavily for a side competing for their third World Championship bronze after placing third in the 1982 and 1990 editions. Both teams have recorded losses in earlier rounds, the USA to Brazil, Italy and Russia, Japan to Brazil and Russia but both also bounced back with a win immediately.

5-6 match
Turkey (22) v Italy (4)
Win or lose, Turkey have already recorded their best position in the history of the World Championship, but a victory over 2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners Italy would be the cherry on the cake after what has already been a successful tournament for Mehmet Bedestenlioglu's side. Narrowly beating Germany in the semifinal will have given them a confidence boost coming into the match and in Neslihan Darnel they have the tournament's top scorer. Italy have had a mixed tournament and were bitterly disappointed with not reaching the 1-4 semifinals. However, they bounced back and scored a relatively easy straight-sets win over Serbia on Saturday, regaining their rhythm. They will also have history on their side as Turkey have never beaten the world No.4 in nine meetings.

7-8 match
Germany (15) v Serbia (9)
Germany were visibly shocked by their loss to Turkey on Saturday and have lost five matches in the tournament now. But their Italian coach Giovanni Guidetti will have to prop his team up for their final assignment against European rivals Serbia. The Serbs went down timidly to Italy on Saturday and will struggle to find the rhythm they displayed in earlier rounds. The two teams met at the 2009 European Championship with Germany picking up a tight 3-2 win in what was the first encounter between the pair.

9-10 match
Poland (8) v China (3)
China have had a disappointing tournament by their own standards so finishing on a positive note is a must. They have had a turbulent 18 months, changing coaches three times, with current incumbent Yu Juemin coming in just a few weeks prior to the competition starting. He will know victory is expected by every Chinese fan and his charges will be buoyed with their 3-1 win over Cuba and will want to maintain a winning rhythm with the Asian Games starting next week. Poland finished 15th at the last edition of the World Championship, so have already made an improvement. They will also be battle-hardened following their thrilling semifinal match against the Netherlands but with only four victories in 15 matches against their Asian opponents, history will not be on their side.

11-12 match
Netherlands (10) v Cuba (6)
World No.6 Cuba may feel that they warrant a spot in one of the higher classification matches but an inconsistent World Championship sees them battle with 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix winners the Netherlands for 11th place. Beating China was always going to be a tough ask for the Cubans but losing 3-1 will have frustrated them. The Netherlands went down for the 11th time to Poland on Saturday and are now on the back foot following a punishing five-set match. In Manon Flier they have one of the deadliest attackers in the world but the Dutch setters will need to make sure they find their captain so she can be utilised in the best possible way. In 15 matches between the two teams, Cuba have come out on top 13 times.

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