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 2003 World Cup News

Women's World Cup
Brazil can win World Cup - Fernanda
October 31, 2003 - Having answered the emergency call from the coach of the national women's Brazilian team Jose Guimaraes, veteran Fernanda Porto Venturini is all set to play her part and lead Brazil to the 2003 World Cup title when their campaign starts on Saturday with a key match against China in Kagoshima. It is four years since Fernanda, 33, last pulled on the green and gold jersey in a top-level international event and 15 years since she played in her first Olympic Games but now there is nothing more that she wants than an anniversary present in the way of the World Cup, which she has never won and she believes Brazil can do it. More Team Profile Coach Profile Fernanda Venturini profile
World Cup begins Saturday for USA Women in Tokyo
October 31, 2003 – The USA women’s national Volleyball team takes its next step on the road to Athens, Greece, on Saturday when the World Cup begins in Tokyo, Japan. The World Cup—the first qualifier for the 2004 Olympic Games—is played in four rounds over 11 days (one game per team per day). The 12 teams in the tournament play a round-robin format in two groups, with each team playing the other 11 teams in the field one time over the course of the four rounds. More Team profile Coach profile Keba Phipps profile
Pic: Keba Phipps is expected to miss USA's opening matches with an eye injury
Olympic qualifier shakeout begins Saturday
Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 31, 2003 – The 2003 FIVB World Cup of women’s Volleyball gets underway on Saturday in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Kagoshima with 12 of the world’s best teams fighting for fast-track entry into the 2004 Olympic tournament. At the end of this round robin contest the top three ranked teams directly qualify for Athens 2004. World Champions Italy and world number one-ranked USA however dealing with injury problems. more Pic: Tokyo's Vovogi Stadium is one of the opening venues for the World Cup  Team profiles Player Profiles Coach Profiles Venue profiles

Cuba after Olympic ticket in World Cup
October 30, 2003 - The Cuban women's Volleyball team is hoping to close out 2003 by qualifying for the Olympic Games either by claiming one of the three tickets available at the 2003 World Cup, which starts in Japan on Saturday, or winning the Continental Olympic qualifying tournament held in the Dominican Republic in December. While the big favorites are in attendance in Japan, the new generation of the Cuban woman's team "las Morenas del Caribe," will be present with their best players and surely won't let slip the opportunity to qualify for a great summer event, one which the Cuban women's team is the champion of at Barcelona-92, Atlanta-96 and Sydney-2000. More Spanish Team profile Pic: Cuba pulled off a great victory over Italy at the 2003 World Grand Prix

Tough task ahead for Argentina
October 30, 2003 - Captain of the Argentine national women's team María Laura Vincente admits her squad is in for a true reality test when they set off on their 2003 World Cup campaign, which starts with a match against Japan on Saturday in Tokyo. Argentina are coming off a South American Championship campaign where they qualified for the World Cup through beating Peru and Colombia and only suffering a loss to Brazil. More Team Profile
Pic: Argentina in action during the 2002 World Championship against the Dominican Republic in a match they lost 3-0
Injuries haunt Italian women
October 29, 2003 - With their training program completed and their practice matches over, the Italian Women's Volleyball team have all eyes on the 2003 Women's World Cup, which starts in Japan on Saturday. Just before leaving Italy for Japan on Monday, the Italians completed a warm up match against an All Star lineup featuring foreign players who ply their trade in the Italian Championship. More
Pic: Simona Gioli had time playing opposite in the All Star game in Italy
Team Profile coach profile

Brazil warm up against Japanese club side
Kagoshima, Japan, October 29, 2003 - The Brazilian women’s national team has enjoyed a good warm-up here ahead of the 2003 World Cup of Volleyball by taking advantage of their close links with one of Japan’s leading club sides for some match practice ahead of the start of the first Olympic qualifier this weekend. In Japan since Sunday, the Brazil team moved on to the city of Kobe where they have been training with Hisamitsu Springs, champions of the Japanese V-League and third in the standings this season.  more Pic: Brazilian libero Fabiana Oliveira makes a stylish dig at the 2003 World Grand Prix Team Profile coach profile
High hopes for Poland
October 29, 2003, Warsaw, Poland – Andrzej Niemczyk, head coach of the European Women’s Championship winning team Poland, believes his team can finish inside the top six at the 2003 Women’s World Cup in Japan and gain possible Olympic qualification. “I believe we will be able to finish between 3rd and 6th,” Niemczyk said. “We will try to gain an Olympic qualification berth (which is granted to the top three teams) but even if we fail to we are going to show to the world we can play good Volleyball.” More Team profile
Pic: The Polish women's team are hoping to finish in the top six at the 2003 World Cup

Japan launches new look team
Tokyo, Japan, October 28, 2003 – Japan, hosts of the 2003 World Cup, go into the women’s tournament with a new look team, invigorated with two bright young stars, tall and talented and plumped with confidence after the team took the silver medal at the recent Asian Games in Vietnam. The two youngsters, Kana Oyama and outside hitter Megumiu Kurihara are just 19-years-old and measure 187cm and 186cm respectively, giving the side a height advantage that was formerly a deficit. Coach Shoichi Yanagimoto will run the two teens in his starting six and is confident that the combination will serve him well. more
Star Players  Team profile

China unveil women's squad
Beijing, China, October 27, 2003 - Asian Women's Championship winner China has named their final women's line-up for 2003 World Cup in Japan, which is scheduled to be held from November 1-15. Head coach Chen Zhonghe named a 12-member squad, which is notable for the absence of China's rising new star Chu Jinling, a 19-year-old, 190 cm wing spiker. Chen said Chu was not picked due to her inexperience in international competition. More Team Profile China, Star Players  Pic: China celebrate their 2003 World Grand Prix triumph.

Dominican Republic women leave for Japan
October 21, 2003 - The Dominican Republic women's national team left for the 2003 World Cup in Japan on Tuesday with the goal of winning at least five of their 11 scheduled matches during the round robin competition which starts on November 1. "We are flying to Paris where we will be joined by five players currently participating in the Italian League," coach Jorge Garbey said. "Then we will go to Japan to establish a training center in the city of Sendai where we will play against local universities teams. More Pic: The Dominican Republic will play their first match against Cuba in the Kagoshima Arena
Debutants hope to continue top season
October 20, 2003 - The Dominican Republic women's team will be making their World Cup debuts when the 2003 edition begins on November 1 in Tokyo, Japan but the Central Americans will be hoping, after being granted a wild card for the event, that they can continue what has been an historical year for them with the women's national team recording some of their best results ever. Read team profile here
The Dominican Republic celebrate their victory at the 2003 Pan American Games
Brazil aim to make up for World Grand Prix performance
October 17, 2003 - Following an extremely disappointing result at the 2003 World Grand Prix the Brazilian women's national team head to the 2003 World Cup with only one thing in mind. A severe improvement. Brazil finished seventh at the August tournament failing to even reach the Final round and since then the national team has undergone many changes. Gone is the coach and in comes many new and old faces to try and rectify the performance in Italy earlier this year. Click here for the rundown on the new team Pic: The Brazilian defence is put to the test by Canada's Janis Kelly during the World Grand Prix

China women looking for 2003 triple
October 16, 2003 - The Chinese national women’s Volleyball team heads to the 2003 FIVB World Cup in superb form having won the World Grand Prix in August and more recently having defended their Asian Continental Championship title by clinching the gold medal following a straight sets defeat of Japan.
Can they collect their third title in five months?
Click here for the team preview
Pic: Yanan Liu(4) and Hao Yang(3) show great defense during the 2003 World Grand Prix

USA Women Beat Brazil in Texas Tour Finale
BURLESON, Texas, October 4, 2003 – After dropping the first three matches of a four-match Texas Tour against Brazil, the United States Women's Volleyball team won the finale 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-15, 25-20) in Burleson on Saturday. Tayyiba Haneef scored a match-high 18 points in the victory as Team USA improved to 21-12 and won its final match before the World Cup begins on Nov. 1. More
Pic: USA celebrate winning the last of the four encounters with Brazil

October 3, 2003 –
USA Women Lose Third-Straight to Brazil
October 1, 2003 –
Brazil Defeats USA Women for Second Straight Night
September 30, 2003 –
USA Women fall to Brazil in Texas Tour Opener
September 29, 2003 - Four more teams qualify; only two places and wild cards up for grabs
September 26, 2003 - Brazil to battle USA in World Cup Warm-ups
September 16, 2003 – Tension mounts as places fill rapidly Sp  
September 11, 2003 - Brazil include Barros in training squad

Men's World Cup
French captain leaves Russia for World Cup
October 29, 2003 - Captain of the French team Dominique Daquin will leave from Moscow for Tokyo when the French national men's squad heads to Japan for the Men's World Cup. After 10 years in the French league and three seasons in the Italian Championship, Daquin, 29, has taken the plunge and signed to play for Russian club Dynamo Moscow. He has signed a one year contract with one of the most prestigious and richest clubs in Russia. More Pic: Dominique Daquin in true spiking mode against the Czech Republic during the 2003 World League French star profiles Team profile

Canada announces World Cup selection
October 21, 2003 - Canada has announced its 12-man squad for the 2003 Men's World Cup in Japan, which runs from November 16-30. The World Cup is the first official FIVB Olympic Qualifier, with the top three placing teams gaining berths to the 2004 Athens Olympics. "Qualifying for this year's World Cup means a great deal to this program and team," head coach Stelio DeRocco told Volleyball Canada. "Being the first of three Olympic qualifying tournaments, the calibre of teams at the World Cup and the tournament format will no doubt require us to play at a very high and intense level. More Canada in action against Polan at the 2002 World Championship where they finished 17th Canadian star profiles

France unveil squad for World Cup
October 13, 2003 - European Continental Men’s Championship runners up France named their squad for the 2003 World in Japan, which starts on November 16, on Monday. Coach Philippe Blain has named an 18-man squad which is notable for the absence of France’s most experienced player Luc Marquet, who, with more than 300 international caps, retired after the European Championship in September. More
Pic: Stephane Antiga (blonde hair) and France are all set for the World Cup

Bernardinho names squad for World Cup
October 9, 2003 - The coach of the Brazilian men's team Bernardo Rezende unveiled a 20-strong squad on Wednesday for the 2003 Men's World Cup, which will be held in Japan from November 16-30. Bernardinho, as he is more affectionately known, named all of Brazil's stars including Gilberto Godoy Filho, Maurício Lima and captain Nalbert Bitencourt while Gustavo Endres returns to the side after missing most of the 2003 World League with injury. The World Cup is the first Olympic qualifying tournament, where the three top teams will book their tickets to Athens next year, and Brazil are one of the favourites having won the 2002 World Championship and the 2003 World League. More
Pic: Bernardinho will welcome back half his squad from Italy in November

World Cup Countdown
Babo-chan a Volleyball veteran & eternal charmer
October 25, 2003 - When in November the 2003 World Cup teams run onto the courts in cities all over Japan, a very special mascot will be there to cheer them. Babo-chan, also interpreted when translated from Japanese into English as “Vabo-chan”, will lead the cheers and animate the crowd as tirelessly as he has done at each of these events for more than three decades. More 

                                                    The different eras of Babo-chan

  1997-1981              1985-1991                1995                                                      1999                                               1999

DVD launched for Japanese Women's team
October 15, 2003 - The 1960s was an exceptional time for Japanese Women's Volleyball and to commemorate the era a digitally re-mastered DVD collection of the television series highlighting the exploits of the 1964 team has been reproduced. The series called Attack, which was also produced in comic books, was an animated classic proving very popular following the gold medal winning performance of the women's team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and now with the 2003 World Cup set to start in November the series is becoming a hit again.
For further information on the DVD collection go to
For a review of the "Golden Era of Japan" click here
Pic: The DVD cover of Attack. An 18 disc collection which is taking Japan by storm

Golden era of Japan
October 8, 2003 - Japanese Volleyball has a rich tradition in the sport and once again they will be the hosts for the 2003 World Cup when the men's and Women's editions start in November. Hiroshi Takeuchi of Kyodo News takes a look at Japan's wonderful past.
Japan enjoyed their golden era in the 1960's and 1970's. The head coach of the women's national team in the 60's was Hirofumi Daimatsu, who was a charismatic character with his army-style discipline and hard training. They shocked the then European-dominated women's field, when they advanced to the final of the 1960 World Championship in Brazil to collect the silver medal. It was their first attempt at the World Championship, since Japan had enjoyed the traditional nine-man Volleyball game and was rather reluctant to develop the six-man version.
More Men's History Pic: The Japanese Men's team on their way to the gold medal in Munich 1972
Drawing of lots completed; World Cup match schedule announced
October 03, 2003 - Korea and USA launch the FIVB Women's World Cup tournament on November 1 when they clash in Tokyo at 12:00 (local time) to kick off the quest for a fast track entry into the Olympic Games in Athens, 2004. The full match schedules for the 2003 Women's and Men's World Cups were confirmed on Friday following the drawing of lots in Tokyo. The 12 teams in the men's and women's tournaments play a round robin format in two groups in which all teams meet each other. The other matches on the opening day of the women's competition in Tokyo see Italy play Egypt at 14:30 before the Grand Opening ceremony at 17:00. The final match sees Argentina take on hosts Japan. Meanwhile, in the parallel city of Kagoshima, the Dominican Republic plays Cuba at 12:05 before a big clash between heavyweights Brazil and China. Then in a repeat of the European Continental Championship final Poland plays Turkey at 18:05. More Women's World Cup schedule Men's World Cup schedule
Pic: USA and Korea open the Women's World Cup on November 1

World Cup groups announced

October 02, 2003 - The groups for the 2003 Women's and Men's World Cup have been announced inline with specific competition regulations ahead of the drawing of the match schedule, which takes place in Tokyo on Friday. The 12 teams in the men's and women's competitions have been split to play in two groups in a round-robin format before an exchange midway through the competition allows each team to play each other. More
Pic: USA will start in Group A with hosts Japan

Wild Cards announced for first Olympic qualifier; teams now complete
Lausanne, Switzerland, October 1, 2003 - The International Volleyball Federation on Wednesday announced the allocation of two wild cards for each of the Men's and Women's World Cup tournament to take place in Japan in November. The top three teams qualify directly for the Athens 2004 Olympic tournament. In the women's tournament Italy and Dominican Republic were granted the wild card entries to complete the 12 competing teams, and in the men's tournament they went to Serbia and Montenegro and Egypt. The awarding of wild cards was made jointly by the FIVB and hosts of the World Cup tournaments, the Japan Volleyball Federation. More French Spanish German Pic: Serbia and Montenegro takes on Italy during the 2003 World League

NORCECA Men's Championship
Mexico & Cuba join Canada & USA in semifinals
Culiacan, Mexico, September 28, 2003 - Mexico and Cuba both confirmed their spots in the semifinals of the XVIII Men's NORCECA Championship on Sunday after recording wins over Puerto Rico and Panama respectively in their final group matches. More
Spanish Story by Lissette Ricardo More NORCECA Championship news

Women's European Championship
Poland crowned new European champions
ANKARA, Turkey, 28 September – Poland on Sunday outplayed hosts Turkey to capture the coveted Women’s European Volleyball Championship title in style with a 3-0 confident victory. Both teams now qualify for the World Cup in Japan in November, the first Olympic qualifier. Earlier Germany won the bronze medal defeating Netherlands 3-2 more
More CEV news

Women's Asian Championship
China Wins Gold Medal; China, Korea to World Cup
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, September 27 -- Title holder China clinched the gold medal by downing Japan in straight sets at the 12th Asian Women's Volleyball championships here on Friday. China also qualified for the World Cup slated for November in Japan, where hosts Japan have an automatic place. This opened the door for third placed Korea to take up the second berth in this tournament that is also the first Olympic qualifier. China took the final 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-15). more Pic: Two stalwarts of the Chinese lineup Hao Yang and Ruirui Zhao More AVC News

NORCECA Women's Continental Championship
Cuba and USA qualify for the World Cup
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, September 18, 2003 - Cuba and USA used different paths but both qualified for the Women’s World Cup in Japan after both sides recorded semifinal victories on Thursday at the NORCECA Women's Continental Championship in the Dominican Republic. The Cubans saw the hosts from the Dominican Republic fight back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the match before dominating the tie-breaker in their 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 20-25, 15-11 victory while the Americans had no problems to defeat the young Canadians 25-16, 25-19, 25-16. More Spanish
More NORCECA Championship news
Pic: Cuba celebrate qualifying for the World Cup

Asia Men's Challenge Cup
Korea Wins Asian Challenge Cup
QIQIHAR, China, September 17, 2003 - Korea rallied to beat China 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-23) to win the first leg of the 2003 Challenge Cup Asia Men's Volleyball Tournament in Qiqihar, a northeastern city of China on Wednesday. More
More AVC Challenge Cup news

Men's European Championships
Italy European Champions
Berlin, Germany, Sept. 14, 2003  - Italy emerged victorious 3-2 (25:18, 40:42, 25:28, 27:29, 15:9) in a five set thriller against France to take the Men's European title in a match that lasted almost two and a half hours and saw the lead change from one team to another and had the capacity crowd in the Max-Schmelling Halle on their feet for much of the match. More German
Pic: The victorious Italian squad
More European Championship news
Men's Asian Championship
South Korea retain title
Tianjin, China, September 12, 2003 - South Korea fought back from 2-1 down to beat China 3-2 and retain their title as Asian Men's Volleyball Championships here on Friday. More Final results and standings More AVC Championship news

South American Continental Championship - Women

Brazil and Argentina book places for World Cup
BOGOTA, Colombia, September 07, 2003 - Brazil and Argentina booked their tickets for the Women's World Cup in Japan in November after Brazil claimed the 25th South American Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-13) win over Argentina in the El Salitre Gym of Bogotá, Colombia on Sunday. More

South American Continental Championship - Men
Venezuela secures spot in World Cup in Men's South American Continental Championship
Rio de Janiero, Brazil, September 5, 2003 - Venezuela booked themselves a ticket to the 2003 World Cup after recording their third win at the South American Men's Continental Championship beating Paraguay 3-0 (25-05, 25-18, 25-14) in 1h04 on Friday in the Miécimo Da Silva gymnasium, in Campo Grande. More More SouthAm Championship news

African Nations Championship - Women
Egypt Women qualify for World Cup
August 23, 2003 - The Egyptian Women's Volleyball team booked a ticket to the 2003 World Cup in Japan in November after claiming the 14th African Nations Championship in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday. More More AfricaVolley Championship news

African Nations Championship - Men
Tunisia claims eighth title
August 06, 2003 - Tunisia booked their ticket to the 2003 World Cup in Japan next November after beating hosts Egypt in the final of the African Nations Championship 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 27-25) on Wednesday in Cairo to continue its domination of the event having won eight of the 14 competitions. More Story by Tarek AL-ADWAR, CAVB Press Officer
Pic: Tunisia raise aloft the African Nations trophy
More AfricaVolley Championship news