World Grand Prix opens amongst magnificent scenes as
favourites get to work early
Switzerland, June 24, 2005 – Women’s Volleyball fans
witnessed a superb illustration of skill, grace and
precision on the opening day of the 2005 World Grand
Prix on Friday; which was highlighted with victories to
defending champions Brazil along with Japan, the
Netherlands, China, Cuba and Italy.
World number two Brazil opened proceedings with a 3-0
(25-21, 25-20, 25-14) win over world number eight Korea.
After a sluggish opening, the Brazilians eventually put
together a series of dazzling attacking combinations to
win in straight sets.
"It certainly felt like we were playing against the No.
1 team in the world,” Korea coach Hyung-Sil Kim said.
“We did not have enough time to prepare fully and it
Pic: New USA coach Lang Ping had an unsuccessful
World Grand Prix debut against the Netherlands
In the second match in Tokyo, a new-look Japanese team
delighted a massive home crowd by overwhelming Poland
3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-17). Japan overcame their height
disadvantage with their movement, speed and agility, as
four players recorded double-digit point hauls.
Meanwhile, world number 14 the Netherlands celebrated
their return to the World Grand Prix in style with a
tremendous 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17) victory over world
number three USA, handing the new American coach Lang
Ping an unhappy debut in Ningbo, China while Olympic and
World Cup double champions China looked ominous in their
3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18) sweep of Thailand.
The final matches on the opening day saw last year's
runner's up Italy take only 58 minutes to beat the the
Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-10) in Reggio
Calabria while Olympic bronze medallists Cuba showed
unbelievable determination to hold off Germany 3-0
(29-27, 27-25, 27-25).