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Press releases
 
World MVP targets top teams
 
Tokyo, May 16, 2007: Nothing fazes Yoshie Takeshita. Not even Russia or Brazil. After all, at 1.59 metres, the Japanese setter has had to work harder than most to reach the peak of her chosen sport – MVP of the 2006 FIVB World Championship.

At the start of a new international season, Takeshita is setting her sights on the big guns Japan will face in the World Grand Prix. "Russia and Brazil are the top two teams in the world rankings right now, but they are not perfect," Takeshita says.

"Whether we can beat them depends on how we play as a team. At the World Championship last year we lost to Chinese Taipei but later beat Serbia-Montenegro, who went on to win the bronze medal.
"The difference between the top teams is not so big, so it depends on how we construct our own game. If we can do this we have a chance." Sixth-ranked Japan will meet second-ranked Brazil in the second week of the World Grand Prix preliminary rounds in Tokyo and world champions Russia on the third weekend in Osaka.

Competition will be fierce for a place in the six-team final round in Ningbo, China, from August 22-26, but Takeshita is confident Japan can find the right balance to be a major threat this year.

"Some players have come back from injury, some veterans have joined the team and we have several players from Hisamitsu who won the Premier League this season," she added.
"We will have a very interesting team this year."

Hisamitsu Springs have five players in the 20-strong squad of head coach Shoichi Yanagimoto: experienced middle blockers Kumiko Sakino and Kanako Omura, wing spikers Shuka Oyama and Mari Ochiai and libero Yuko Sano. Japan will play four warm-up matches in Germany in late June before heading for Russia and the Boris Yeltsin Cup.

 

  
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