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Brazil join China, Cuba and Japan in Final Round

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 9, 2005 – Defending champions Brazil were confirmed in the Final Round of the 2005 World Grand Prix on Saturday when they won their seventh match out of eight, beating Korea 3-1 (25-10, 23-25, 25-12, 25-10) in day two action of the Third Week of the Preliminary Round.

Unbeaten China and Cuba, who were confirmed on Friday in the next phase, continued their excellent form with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-23) win over Germany and a straight sets (27-25, 25-19, 25-21) victory over the Netherlands respectively. Japan, who beat USA 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-15, 25-18), qualify automatically to the Final Round as hosts.

Sunday’s final day of the Preliminary Round will be fascinating with Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and USA all chasing the last two remaining Final Round vacancies.

World champions Italy beat the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-18) in Hong Kong on Saturday to record their fifth win and must now beat China in their final match on Sunday to ensure a place in the next phase, although their points ratio is currently in their favour.

European champions Poland were also victorious on Saturday beating Thailand 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-20) in Bangkok to move to a 4-4 win-loss record, while USA and the Netherlands have similar records.

Unfortunately for Korea, Germany, the Dominican Republic and Thailand, their chances of reaching the Final Round are now all over.

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