2005 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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Cuba, Brazil and China simply devastating

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 1, 2005 – The three teams – Cuba, Brazil and China - who are setting the World Grand Prix alight with their on court sparkle and passion have continued their unbeaten start to the competition after the first day’s action of the second week was completed on Friday.

Cuba were simply divine in their 25-19, 25-17, 25-17 demolition of Thailand in Manila, Philippines while in Macau, China, Brazil beat Poland 25-17 25-13 25-19 (for the second week in a row) and China were sensational in beating Germany 25-17, 25-19, 25-15.

The tremendous trio head the 12-team table with the Netherlands and Japan forming a surprise pairing in fourth place with three wins and one defeat. They both won on Friday with the Netherlands stunning last year’s silver medalists and world champions Italy in Manila by winning 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 while Japan beat the Dominican Republic 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 in Seoul.

Italy sits alone in sixth spot with a 2-2 record while USA, Korea (who beat
USA 3-2 (25-23, 13-25, 21-25, 25-15, 15-13)), Poland and Germany each have one victory to their name.

The Dominican Republic and Thailand are still searching for their first win.

Day two on Saturday opens with USA playing the Dominican Republic in Seoul, Brazil taking on Germany in Macau and a key clash in Manila with the Netherlands playing Cuba.

Current standings after three matches: 1) China 2) Brazil 3) Cuba 4) Japan 5) Netherlands 6) Italy 7) Germany 8) USA 9) Korea 10) Poland 11) Dominican Republic 12) Thailand

After three weeks of Preliminary Round action, the top six teams will enter the Final Round in Japan to play for the honour of 2005 World Grand Prix champion.