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Press releases
FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix: China and Italy emerge as queens of first leg

Lausanne, June 22, 2008 - The first leg of the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix saw China and Italy emerge as the best teams, both winning all three matches at home in Ningbo and Alassio, respectively. Pool A in Kobe, Japan, showcased Turkey's form on their debut in the FIVB's top Women's event.


Turkey made a sensational debut in the FIVB World Grand Prix by winning Pool A in Kobe, Japan. Only one loss in five sets against Japan blocked their way to a perfect leg, counting out a 3-1 win against USA and a 25-17, 26-24, 25-15 win over Kazakhstan. The Americans, World Grand Prix champions in 1995 and 2001, improved their win-loss record to 2-1, finishing on a high note by beating the hosts 3-2. In the most balanced Pool of the entire leg, Japan signed the same 2-1 win-loss record after an enduring 13-set challenge. Kazakhstan, making their second appearance in the World Grand Prix, were missing injured captain and ace spiker Yelena Pavlova and ended their Japanese experience with no wins.


China started at full throttle in Ningbo, China, where the last edition of the World Grand Prix ended. Pool B hosted Brazil, Germany and Thailand together with the Olympic champion coached by Chen Zhonghe. China compiled a 3-0 win-loss record after outlasting nemesis Brazil in a five-set epic. Brazil collected two wins to take second place in the group. A valiant Thai team battled hard but still slumped to their third straight loss in the group, defeated by Germany on Sunday to finish bottom. Germany, having lost to China and Brazil in previous matches, compiled a 1-2 record and finished third in the standings.


"It is not a job for every day to win 3-0 against Cuba. With three successes in a row, it is a splendid beginning for the Grand Prix," said Italy Head Coach Massimo Barbolini during the press conference held in Alassio, Italy, where Pool C was played. Italy beat Dominican Republic and Poland with the same result (3-1) ahead of the last win against the Caribbean team. Poland was the surprise of the weekend, with a triple loss which put Marco Bonitta's team at the lowest position in the standings. Poland's last defeat was a 2-3 loss against the Dominican Republic under the guidance of new Head Coach Marcos Kwiek.


The Final Round will be played in Yokohama, Japan, through July 9-13 between Japan as host country and the best five ranked teams after the Preliminary Rounds.


More press releases
13.07.2008 Brazil claim seventh World Grand Prix title with perfect 5-0 record  
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  
20.06.2008 FIVB World Grand Prix gets underway in Japan, China, Italy: Turkey spring surprise over USA, Brazil beat Thailand in opening exchanges  
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