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Press releases
 
Japan - Chinese Taipei: the rematch after the 2006 big result
 
Tokyo, August 9, 2007 - Japan 1-Chinese Taipei 3: it was a result that rocked Japanese volleyball to its foundations, a shocking upset on the opening night of the 2006 FIVB World Championship.
At Ariake Colosseum on Friday, the two Asian rivals meet for the first time since October 31 last year, in the preliminary round of the World Grand Prix.
When asked if Chinese Taipei can produce another surprise, head coach Jeng Fang Fann smiles and says: “I think impossible. The team at the World Championship last year had been together for one and half years, winning the gold medal at the 2005 Universiade in Turkey. This year we have lost half the players, either through injury or retirement, and this team came together only on July 1.”
Team manager Huang Kuo-kuang explains that, without a professional league in Taipei, the girls must find a job when their college days are over, and cannot make the necessary commitment to volleyball.
This is why their new-look team in the Grand Prix, led by World Championship star Kou Nai-han, is having such a tough time: three 3-0 defeats in the opening round in Verona, Italy, last week and their highest points score in a set only 19.
Captain Chen Shu-li and setter Wu Hsiao-li are among the absentees, and coach Jeng says they are only half the team without the setting skills of the dynamo Wu.
The Japanese, on the other hand, are bigger and stronger than last year, notably with the return of Megumi Kurihara and with more power and experience on the bench.
Six-time Grand Prix champions Brazil will open Friday’s play against the Netherlands, whom they crushed 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-12) in only 64 minutes last week.
Then it’s Japan-Chinese Taipei, but all the signs are that the favourites will win through this time.

 

  
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