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2005 World Grand Prix

Final Round - Day Four

Japanese students go wild for Cuba

Sendai, Japan, July 15, 2005 - When in Rome...or, in this case, when in Sendai, do as the Japanese. For observers of Volleyball and of the human characteristics that give countries their special identity, it was a remarkable sight to behold: The Cuban women's Volleyball team, usually so exuberant and raucous, sitting silently in a Japanese classroom. Perhaps it was the first time in their lives they had been lost for words. More 

Pic: Japan are passionate about their Volleyball
 

Final Round - Day Three - Rest Day
Day Two
Italy and Brazil move ahead of the pack
Day One Cuba, Brazil and Italy win on opening day
Brazil attempt to complete 'world title double'
Preliminary Round Special honour for Italy
Metcalf tops rankings for Preliminary Round
Week Three Netherlands and Italy claim remaining finals berths
Week Two
Brazilian scalp leaves China on top with Cuba
Week One
China, Brazil and Cuba take early lead after first weekend
 

 Italy v Cuba at 03:35 GMT (12:35 local time)
Third time lucky for Italy?
 
Sendai, Japan, July 16, 2005 - Having already suffered at the hands of Olympic bronze medalists Cuba twice during the 2005 World Grand Prix Preliminary Round, world champions Italy will be hoping for a change of fortunes when they meet in the opening match of Day Four of the Final Round on Saturday. Cuba beat Italy 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21) in Week Two and 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 30-28) in Week One. Now, if ever there is a time for Italy, who also lost to Cuba in the Olympic Games quarterfinals, to gain revenge, this is it as another victory would put them in an extremely healthy position going into the final two days. For Cuba, a win is vital as it would effectively put them out of the running with two games to play - even considering those matches are against Japan and the Netherlands - remembering the winner of the round-robin finals becomes 2005 World Grand Prix champion.

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 Netherlands v China at 06:05 GMT (15:05 local time)
Do or die battle for winless teams
 
Sendai, Japan, July 16, 2005 - For Olympic champions China and world number 14 the Netherlands, Saturday's match is a must win affair if either of them want to continue entertaining thoughts of challenging for the 2005 World Grand Prix title. China, ranked number one in the world, have suffered two surprise defeats to Cuba and Italy during the opening two days of the Final Round and another loss to the Netherlands would extinguish any hope they have of claiming the crown they won in 2003. It's the same story for the Netherlands after they suffered defeats at the hands of Brazil and Japan. These two sides have already played once in the 2005 World Grand Prix in Week One of the Preliminary Round with China beating the Netherlands 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-5).

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 Brazil V Japan at 09:00 GMT (18:00 local time)
Can Japan do it this time?
 
Sendai, Japan, July 16, 2005 - After two hours and 16 minutes of incredible Volleyball, Brazil prevailed over Japan 3-2 (17-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-21, 20-18) in their epic Preliminary Round match in Tokyo. Nearly 12,000 fans were disappointed that day as defending champions Brazil fought back from two sets down to claim the honours in what was an amazing come back. Now the question remains, will Sendai City Gymnasium be rocking with applause due to a Japanese win this time? For Japan's sake, they should hope so because another defeat here would leave them with a gigantic uphill battle for the remainder of the Final Round as it would mean Brazil will remain undefeated with two matches to play.
 
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Final Round - July 13-18

 
 
Sendai, Japan
Final Round ranking - Day Two

Italy (2-0)
Brazil (2-0)
Cuba (1-1)
Japan (1-1)
China (0-2)
Netherlands (0-2)

Preliminary Round Ranking
 

STARS

 
 
Fabiana Oliveira
Scoring a point is something impossible for her as a libero, but it does not mean that Fabi is less important to Brazil having returned to the team after missing out on the Athens Olympics.
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Photo of Final Round
Day 2

 
 


Full house and an electric atmosphere in the Sendai City Gymnasium
 

2004 Standings

 
 
1 BRAZIL
2 ITALY
3 U.S.A.
4 CUBA
5 CHINA
6 GERMANY
7 RUSSIA
8 POLAND
9 JAPAN
10 THAILAND
11 KOREA
12 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
 (c) FIVB 2005