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Press releases
FIVB World Grand Prix gets underway in Japan, China, Italy: Turkey spring surprise over USA, Brazil beat Thailand in opening exchanges

Lausanne, June 20, 2008 - The first weekend of the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix is underway, with Preliminary Round matches being played in Japan, China and Italy from Friday to Sunday.

Turkey beat USA 3-1 in Kobe, Japan, in Pool A on Friday afternoon and Brazil downed Thailand 3-0 in Pool B in Ningbo, China.

Two-time winners USA, hosts Japan, Turkey and Kazakhstan play against each other at the Green Arena in Kobe in Pool A.

"We got the ticket for the Beijing Olympics at the OQT, and we will learn from this World Grand Prix just how we are going to play our games in Beijing. We will be able to pick up some useful tips by playing against strong teams in the World Grand Prix. The team is in very good condition and has high motivation," said Japan Head Coach Shoichi Yanagimoto.
Said Kazakhstan Head Coach Viktor Zhruravlev: "This is the second time for Kazakhstan to play in the World Grand Prix, and unfortunately we must come to Japan without two key players, Pavlova and Pyurova. They are injured and need to rest and rehabilitate with a specialist so they are ready for the Beijing Olympics. Pavlova has injured her right knee, and Pyurova has a muscle strain."
Turkey Head Coach Alessandro Chiappini said: "For my team it is an honour to play in such an important competition. We will play this tournament with a young team, and many of my team normally do not play in the national league, so it is important to get experience."
USA Head Coach Jenny Lang Ping said: "We got the team completed two weeks ago and we have four young players who are still in university and joined the team (Barboza, McGinnis, Richards, Akiradewo). We hope to use the World Grand Prix to evaluate them and hopefully we can make a decision for our roster of 12."

Six-time winners Brazil, hosts China, the 2003 champions, Thailand and Germany come together in Pool B in Ningbo at the Beilun Sports Centre, the scene of last year's Final Round.

"It is the last chance for us to play competitive matches before the Beijing Olympic Games, so it is very important for us. We have six experienced players that played in the Athens Games and six young players," said China Head Coach Chen Zhonghe.

Said Brazil Head Coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes: "I am happy to be here in Ningbo again. I hope we can play good Volleyball, it is important for our preparations for the Olympics."

Said Germany Head Coach Giovanni Guidetti: "I am happy to be here, and we have some young players, for them it is a great experence to play this tournament. We will show our best game as much as possible."

Said Thailand Head Coach Nataphon Srisamutnak: "Height might be a huge problem that my team have to face, but we will try to do the best."

In Pool C at the Palaravizza Hall in Alassio, hosts Italy, two-time winners Cuba, Poland and Dominican Republic face each other.

"We will face strong opponents that started a long time ago on the road to Beijing," said Italian Head Coach Massimo Barbolini. "Dominican Republic won the Panamerican Games, Poland had a strong playoff in order to clinch an Olympics place and Cuba is in great condition. But it is our aim to be competitive from the very beginning of our international season."

The 2008 edition involves the teams playing a total of 69 matches over four consecutive weekends in 10 cities. The Preliminary Rounds end the weekend of July 4-6, with each team playing nine matches over the first three weekends.

The Final Round in Yokohama will be contested between Japan as organizing country and the best five teams from the Preliminary Rounds in a round-robin format through July 9-13.

In 2007, the Netherlands won their first major trophy in FIVB competitions with a perfect record in the Final Round, becoming the sixth team to win the renowned title and snapping Brazil's run of three straight triumphs. They did not qualify for the 2008 edition.

Final Round press accreditation applications:

The Final Round is now open for press accreditation applications. Media wishing to cover the climax of the World Grand Prix are requested to contact the Japan Volleyball Association Press Accreditation Section no later than Friday, June 27.

The contact email address is

Applicants will be informed by Friday, July 4, on the status of their application. Phone applications are not accepted.
Accredited media are asked to bring a printout copy of their "AD Card Permission Form" and their passport to the press information desk at the Final Round venue before the start of competition.


More press releases
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12.07.2008 Brazil march toward seventh World Grand Prix title, Italy and China snap losing streak  
11.07.2008 Brazil, Cuba lead title race, Japan pull off amazing upset over Italy on Day Three of World Grand Prix Final Round in Yokohama  
10.07.2008 Brazil, Cuba claim second straight wins, USA beats Japan in five sets as excitement builds at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals  
09.07.2008 Italy, Brazil, Cuba off to winning start at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in Japan  
08.07.2008 National Team Head Coaches look forward to FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Yokohama  
06.07.2008 Brazil, China, Italy, USA, Cuba join Japan in FIVB World Grand Prix Finals after third weekend of Preliminary Rounds in Bangkok, Taipei, Macau  
03.07.2008 Perfect Chinese tailed by USA, Brazil, Italy as FIVB World Grand Prix heads to Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Macau on final weekend of Preliminary Rounds  
02.07.2008 Press interview of the World Grand Prix third leg Group G in Bangkoik  
01.07.2008 Preview of the third weekend Group G in Bangkok, Thailand  
29.06.2008 China stay perfect in World Grand Prix after beating Italy in Hong Kong; Brazil, USA hot on their tails  
26.06.2008 FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix: Chinese and Italian Women lead the way as Vietnam, Poland, Hong Kong host second weekend of Preliminary Round matches  
22.06.2008 FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix: China and Italy emerge as queens of first leg  
16.06.2008 FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix countdown: Preliminary Rounds to start this weekend in China, Japan, Italy  
08.06.2008 Dominican Republic win gold medal at Women's Pan Am Cup and claim World Grand Prix 2009 berth alongside Puerto Rico, USA and Brazil  
03.06.2008 FIVB World Grand Prix 2008 Final Round: Press accreditation for Yokohama event open till June 27  
13.05.2008 Polish fans' demand for tickets forces change of venue for FIVB World Grand Prix Group E matches  
15.04.2008 USA Women scheduled to meet Brazil in three-match series  
04.04.2008 FIVB ratifies 2008 World Grand Prix match schedule; Vietnam named as an organiser for first time  
10.09.2007 Germany, Turkey as well as Italy enter World Grand Prix 2008  
25.08.2007 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix Finals awarded to Yokohama, Japan  
03.07.2007 Cuba is a four-time champion at Pan American Cup