Brazil go into World
Grand Prix short-handed
Japan, June 23, 2005 - Brazil will begin the defence of
their FIVB World Grand Prix title in Tokyo on Friday
with only 11 players on the team sheet.
The Brazilians were hoping to replace the injured
Fabiana Claudino with Katia Rodrigues, but the latter
will not be able to join the team until the second week
of action in Macau due to visa regulations.
The name of Rodrigues was scratched from the official
roster at the general technical meeting on Thursday
evening, leaving the four-time World Grand Prix
Pic: Brazil are already missing stars like Virna Dias
"Unfortunately Fabiana is out with an injury, so
that means we are one player down, but everyone will
play their best in all three games," said Brazil's head
coach, Jose Guimaraes.
"She hurt her foot three days ago in training when she
was running to put up a block, and she will go back to
Brazil on Tuesday. She will probably be out for one
Brazil will open proceedings against Korea at Yoyogi
National Stadium on Friday afternoon, followed by Japan
against Poland in the evening.
On Saturday it's Brazil against Poland, before Japan and
Korea renew their keen rivalry in a Saturday night
showdown which is sure to draw a bumper crowd to the
gymnasium and a big TV rating across Japan.
The three days of action winds up Sunday with Korea
against Poland, followed by Japan versus Brazil.
Japan's head coach, Shoichi Yanagimoto, is treating the
World Grand Prix as the first step on the road to the
Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
This is why his squad includes several new faces, such
as 21-year-old wing spiker Chie Yoshizawa, while
experienced setter Yoshie Takeshita takes over as
"The new players have really good skills; the team is in
good condition and has a nice balance," Yanagimoto told
a news conference on Thursday evening.
"I am focusing on the next Olympics, so this will be
good experience for the players."
South Korea's head coach, Kim Hyung-sil, also has new
talent at his disposal, but says the combinations are
not perfect at the moment because they have been
training together only since May 25.
"I think the other teams are in the same situation," he
"They have changed, too, so I don't know much about
them. But, as ever, in our match against Japan, a strong
mentality will be the most important factor."
Centre Jung Dae-young is said to be in particularly good
form for the Koreans, who beat Japan at the Athens
Olympics last summer.
Poland's head coach, Andrzej Niemczyk, says Brazil are
the favourites to win this Group A of the 12-team World
Grand Prix, but expects all four teams to be competitive
and to produce close matches.