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link to: Official 2002 World Championship website
 
LATEST UPDATES ON TEAM PREPARATIONS
Greece - The preparation of the Hellenic Women's team finishes with the participation in the tournament to be held in Bulgaria - the Varna Cup in mid-August. The other participants in this tournament are Mexico, Turkey Romania and Argentina. The last friendly matches for the Greek women will be against Japan, at home in Greece.
Head Coach, Dimitrio Floros says, "We made real progress during the last month. The strong teams and the good friendly matches that we played will help us in the World Championship, where we will have the chance to meet and play against the best teams of the world."

Germany - German player Hanka Pachale will undergo arthroscopy surgery on her left knee on Friday, the German Volleyball Federation has reported. The 25-year old who played last season for Romanelli, Florence, is reported to be going to Modena where the doctor of the Italian men's team, dr. Montorsi will carry out the surgery. "It is a problem with the meniscus. We will only know if there is other damage after the operation, said Pachale. Her appearance at the FIVB Grand Prix (July 12 - August 4 in Asia) is now in doubt. If she is unable to make the trip to Asia, she, and other players recovering from injury - like Tanja Hart and Christina Benecke - will undergo special rehabilitation training parallel to the Grand Prix. This may allow them to be available for selection for the two team places still open for the finals election for the World Championship.


Cuba

Russia - The Russian Women’s National Team have continued their preparation in Croatia from May 13th with Coach Karpol keeping the same lineup as he used for the last major competition, the 2001, the World Grand Champions Cup in Japan. Only one player is not with a team: Elena Godina is undergoing medical treatment in a hospital in Moscow. Evguenia Artamonova just recommenced training again after undergoing knee surgery last April in Italy. Following the Montreux Volleymasters 2002 tournament (June 4-9) in Montreux, Switzerland, the Russian team will play four international friendly matches against the U.S.A., in the Russian cities of Moscow and Tula. Then Karpol’s girls will return to Croatia on June 22 to continue preparing for the World Grand Prix, where they will have a chance to size up the some of the opposition ahead of the World Championship in Germany.

Brazil - New Lineup for Brazil. Brazil will contest the Grand Prix and the FIVB Women's World Championship in Germany (Aug 30-Sept 15) with a brand new lineup announced recently by Brazilian coach, Marco Aurelio Motta. The move was necessary to replace six of the side's stalwarts Virna, setter Fofao (Helia Souza), Erika, Walewska, Raquel Silva and Elisangela, who have opted not to play for the National Team. These prominent players spent a decade working with successful coach Bernardo Rezende "Bernardinho", who has now taken control of the men's side, presently contesting the World League. Bernardinho was a hard taskmaster, but the veteran women players were used to his particular demanding style and were at odds with Motta's contrasting coaching style and different tactics. Tensions between the veterans and coach intensified with his dissatisfaction at the team's performance at the recent VolleyMasters in Montreux, Switzerland, where they finished fifth from six competing teams. Motta has said his new team, which includes drafted members of the NationalJjunior Team, will not be mature enough for a top place at the Championship in Germany. Instead he is intent on shaping the side to be competitive at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. The Brazilian Volleyball Confederation, with President Ary Graça, approved new lineup, referred to by Motta as the "Junior Champions". They include 19-years-old Sassa, Sheila (18) and Cica (20). They join veteran blocker Karim Negrao (30), the only survivor of the bronze Olympic medallist team of Sydney 2000. The oldest member of the new-look Brazilian team is libero Arlene (32), because Paula Pequeno, Junior Champion 2001, replaced the veteran Elisangela. Pequeno will join forces with Jacqueline, another survivor, in the difficult task of replacing the successful attacking duo of Virna and Erika. Motta has pinpointed the new side's weakness is the lack of a good setter and he will try out Marcelle and Fabiana Berto for this position.

Italy

Korea - Korea's women's delegation is now organized with Mr. Ryu Hoaseok, Head Coach, Mr. EO Changsun Assistant Coach and the 12 players. They have been recruited in the National Training Center from the 2nd of June and are practicing about 7 hrs. a day. They begin their day with an early morning jogging, power training, and then work in the afternoon on tactics and weight training. The team attended with the Men's team, the Inauguration Ceremony of the 32nd President of the Korea Volleyball association held on the 11th of June. They are preparing for the World Championship through this hard training and despite not being able to participate in the World Grand Prix.

USA - The U.S. women’s national volleyball team is currently in Italy to compete in three matches that will serve as a tune-up for the World Championships that begin Aug. 30 in Germany.
The United States will play Italy twice and Brazil once in preparation for the World Championships.  They will play Italy in the Italian city of Brescia where they will also meet Brazil on Aug. 23.  The American’s final match will be against Italy on Aug. 24 in Verbania.
Team USA’s last match was on July 28 in Miao Li, Chinese Taipei, a 3-2 to loss to Russia at the World Grand Prix. The women finished the Grand Prix with three straight losses in failing to advance to the final round after winning the championship in 2001 and enter action this week with a record of 6-15.
“We have not played in nearly one month, so the matches with Italy and Brazil are important competitions for us heading in the World Championships,” said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida.
Outside hitter Logan Tom will not make the trip to Italy with the national team. Instead she will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to play for Stanford in the season-opening State Farm Volleyball Classic presented by NACWAA Aug. 23-24. Tom, the 2001 American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year, led Stanford to the NCAA volleyball championship last season. She will rejoin the national team on Monday, Aug. 26, in Dresden, Germany.
Setter Robyn Ah Mow, the team captain of Team USA, will miss the remainder of the 2002 season, including the Women’s Volleyball World Championships in Germany.Ah Mow and her husband are expecting their first child in February 2003. Under doctor’s orders, she is not allowed to play for the rest of the season.
Lizzy Fitzgerald is fully recovered from a sprained ankle she suffered at the Grand Prix and figures to be the starting setter for the United States in the World Championships. Also competing for playing time at setter is Jen Flynn, a member of the Grand Rapids Force in the United States Professional Volleyball league (USPV).

China -Chinese Women Lose Triplet to Russia - Chinese women’s team won two stops at the World Grand Prix from July 12- August 4, but lost three times to Russia during that period. The triplet loss was the only fallback through the four stops, from Chengdu, China, Thailand, Macao of China to Hong Kong of China in sequence. China won at Thailand and at Macao of China, while took the second places at the others. Head coach Chen Zhonghe of China was not much worried about the losing streak to Russia, saying his team was getting better from the losses. The women’s team headed to the Netherlands on Aug. 22, preparing for the World Championships in Germany, which is slated to Aug. 28.

Japan - The Japanese women began their intensive training in mid- May. Since then they have played friendly matches at home against the USA, have participated in the Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland and in the 4-Nation Tournament in Italy. The team improved their strategies through these competitions and is now focused on the main target- the World Championship. They will continue training and working on the lessons learned from participation in training camps and these international matches.

The Netherlands- The Dutch Federation hired Italian coach Angiolino Frigoni to reshape the 'Orange' squad after they missed qualification for Sydney 2000 - the first time they did not play in the Olympic tournament since 1988. Since Frigoni's appointment, the team has been constantly improving and in 2001, The Netherlands finished a creditable fifth at the European Championship. Frigoni now has to make some hard decisions about whether to retain the more experienced players who helped The Netherlands to the 1995 European title and the fifth position at the 1996 Olympic tournament, or to take on some of the hungry young players waiting for their chance. He took some to a recent Four Nation Tournament in China, during which the side defeated Italy on the final day to break the jinx of seven consecutive losses. Among them was rookie Alice Blom (winner of the 'www.volleybalkrant.nl Player of the Year Award'). Frigoni will try out other younger players at the Montreux Volley Masters. The team will then travel to Italy, while China will visit The Netherlands just prior to the World Championship.

Argentina - After two weeks of hard general and physical check ups Argentina’s Women's National Team have started serious preparation for the World Championship. 'Las Panteras' (The Panthers) squad includes:Celina Crusoe, Andrea Conti, Florencia Delfino, Georgina Pinedo, Ivana Müller, Janaina Bergaglio, Julieta Borghi, María Laura Vincente, Marianela Robinet, Micaela Vogel, Mirna Ansaldi, Mónica Kostolnik and Natalia Bruzza. They are training until mid-June together with the National Junior Team.  Carolina Costagrande (Jesi - Italy) and Romina Lamas (Tenerife - Spain), will join the training camp shortly after they have completed activities with their European clubs and return to Argentina. Coach Claudio Cuello is very confident that the team will give its best and get good results even though most of his players are very young. Carolina Costagrande is just 21, and is already recognized as one of most promising players.Before going to Germany, Argentina will play the Pan American Cup in Tijuana June 24th-July 1st some friendly matches in Canada July 1st-7th. They will welcome the Australian Team in Argentina, August 11th-18th and then travel to Poland on August 19 for four matches again their national side.

Australia - Australia's Coach Mark Barnard expects to make second round -Leipzig will see plenty of action when the Australians, known for their enthusiastic support from fans, take to the court. But national coach Mark Barnard is well aware that they will need all the support they can get, because qualification in the strong Group D will not be easy. Australia meets Brazil, China, Thailand, Poland and Greece in the group.The Aussies have a heavy program of travel and friendly matches planned to get as much competition practice as possible ahead of the championships. Barnard said they would go to Thailand, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Argentina for pre-championship matches.The Australians are making their first World Championship appearance since 1982.

Bulgaria

Canada

Dominican Republic - Now that the Dominican National Republic Pro-League is completed and players from foreign clubs have returned, the Dominican Republic Women’s National team is busy training 6-8 hours at the National Olympic Volleyball Training Center in Santo Domingo. Milagros Cabral and Cosiri Rodrigues have both returned from Spain to rejoin the squad, while star middle blocker Nuris Arias and Yndys Nova are also back from their Italian clubs. Latin America’s most experienced libero, Evelyn Carreras, has also joined her teammates after a successful season with the Chicas of San Juan team in Puerto Rico. In June the squad heads south for training in Brazil and matches against the Brazilian women’s team, before heading north to Tijuana, Mexico for the 1st Edition of the Pan American Women’s Cup, a preprogrammed hit which is already sold out. Other teams competing in the Cup are Canada, U.S.A., Cuba, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Thailand -Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA) cancelled the initial plan to send its women's squad for a 15-day intensive training in China and will instead train domestically before leaving for Germany five days ahead the start of the World Championship on September 29. The Thai girls last month competed in their debut World Grand Prix against seven world-class teams comprising reigning world and successive three-time Olympic champions Cuba, Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, the United States and Germany to lose all their matches in the three round-robin preliminaries in Tokyo, Nakhon Ratchasima and Macao. "Although my girls lost all matches in their preliminaries, I'm still satisfied when I learned the fact that they played the world's best teams. To beat Cuba, Brazil and the USA even one or two sets is, I think, a success for a debutant team and underdog like us," Thai head coach Kiartipong Ratchatakriangkrai said.We learned a lot from the Grand Prix. My girls now know where they are standing and how far they have to walk to reach where those world-class teams are. They learned how to play with varieties. They learned that only fierce spikes could not do that much. They knew how to cope with taller rivals.Asked about the injured setter Wallapha Jitr-ong, which, Kiartipong said, could affect the team's performance in the forthcoming world meet, the head coach said, "She is now recovering. I think she would heal in time before the world meet and the Busan Asian Games."I still set my sight on the Thai girls to make it to the second round. This means they have to beat at least three teams in the pool to keep such hopes alive. Everyone has great determination to make her mark in the world meet and I hope it will pay off impressively."

Czech Republic - The women's team are now preparing at Brandys and will continue to play some matches in Poland, followed by their hosting of the Canadian national team. The final composition of the team was announced on 15 August. They are: Jana Simankova, Eva Stepancikova, Marcela Ritschelova, Jana Kalcikova, Milada Spalova, Helena Horka,, Jana Havlova, Katerina Jenckova, Katerina Buckova, Lenka Felbabova, Petra Novotna and Jana Senkova. The team will leave on 28 August for Munster where the matches of its pool will take place in the opening round.

Romania

Kenya - In our efforts to prepare our team adequately, Kenya participated in a fourn-nations tournament held in Durban South Africa from 10th to 17th August 2002.  In the preliminaries, Kenya beach the Seychelles 3-2, Maritius 3-0 and South Africa 3-0.  In the final round they were 3-0 agains Seychelles(25-14,25-21,25-15)

Poland

Mexico -Mexico's National Team players except those that were playing in foreign clubs got together in January, when the training program began in Monterrey, site of the National Team. They have been preparing for the Senior Pan-American Cup to be held in Tijuana, Mexico, from 24 to 30 June, where the side will play against Cuba, USA, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Canada and Puerto Rico. After they will travel to Puerto Rico for training with the Puerto Rican and the Spanish team, then back to Monterrey to receive team Australia at the end of July, while in August the Mexican women will travel eastwards to China, Korea and Japan, to play several clubs and universities. Just prior to the World Championship our National Team will have a training camp and will participate in a club tournament in Bulgaria, for more play and preparations.

Egypt E - The Egyptian women's team started the last stage of preparation for the World Championship in Germany by participating in a tour in Sofia, Bulgaria from 15 to 19/8/2002.   Egypt will play against 3 major clubs and the Bulgarian national team, Then they will shift to Varna to a training camp with the Bulgarian team from 19 to 24 August where they will be plazing four matches against Bulgaria and Mexico.
The team will return back to Egypt to leave for Germany in 27/8/2002

Puerto Rico - In preparing for the Championship, our players have practiced with their respective club reams for our national tournament. This tournament prepares our players for the national team and gives them the opportunity to play all year round. We started our national team practices on April 15. The team has worked with a training that consists of 4 phases including: general physical training, specialized physical training, pre-competitive phase and competitive phase.   We are currently in the third phase of our program. Our team played in the Winnipeg Cup in Canada where they faced the teams of Japan, Australia and Canada.
Continuing with the third phase, Puerto Rico will participate at the Pan-American tournament in Mexico against Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic and USA.  Puerto Rico will host a friendly tournament for two weeks where we will have the opportunity to play against Spain and Australia several times before we leave for the World championship.