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Press releases
FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix: Chinese and Italian Women lead the way as Vietnam, Poland, Hong Kong host second weekend of Preliminary Round matches

Lausanne, June 26, 2008 - China and Italy are the only two unbeaten teams left in the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix and one of those 100 percent records will definitely fall on the second weekend of action as the two teams face each other in Hong Kong.

Japan and Cuba are the other two teams that make up a very strong Group F in Hong Kong this weekend. Both have 2-1 win-loss records and so the Chinese and Italians, who each swept their three matches last weekend, have their work cut out in trying to preserve their unbeaten starts in FIVB's premier annual Women's competition. Italy did, however, beat Cuba in straight sets last weekend at home in Alassio.

In Group D, Brazil, Kazahkstan, Turkey and Germany will play each other at Vinh Phuc Hall in Vietnam through Friday to Sunday. Turkey made a storming start to the competition last weekend in Kobe, Japan, and have a 2-1 win-loss record so far, which includes a straight-sets win over Kazakhs. Brazil also have a 2-1 record after falling in an epic five-set match to the Chinese in Ningbo.

In Group E, host Poland, Dominican Republic, Thailand and USA face off against each other at Cetennial Hall in Wroclaw. The Polish had a disastrous start to the competition in Alassio last weekend, losing all three matches including a five-setter against the Dominicans. Thailand are also yet to get off the mark, while USA have a 2-1 record.

"We came here with hope to play much better than we did in Italy," said Poland assitant coach Grzegorz Kosatka, speaking instead of absent Head Coach Marco Bonitta, on Thursday at a press conference in Wroclaw. "This team, which is young and practically brand-new is being tested during the Grand Prix. The team is getting together and I think that we'll perform much better than in Alassio."

Said USA Head Coach "Jenny" Lang Ping: "We're very happy to come to Poland again - Poland qualified to the Olympic Games as the second team. Of course all teams here are well-qualified and this tournament will be tough. We want to use the start in this tournament to improve our teamwork."

Said Dominican Head Coach Marcos Kwiek: "We're coming here after a very tough tournament in Italy. This week we'd like to play much better. We're a very young team and I hope that our girls got some experience from the last matches."

Said Thailand Head Coach Nataphon Srisamutnak: "We're very pleased that we can be a part of this world-class competition. We'll do our best here."

Best Scorer of the competition so far is Turkey's Seda Tokatlioglu with 68 points and she has been supported by Esra Gumus who has fired home 49 points. Japan's Miyuki Takahashi is second-highest scorer with 55 points and Ruirui Zhao of China third with 50 points.

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.

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
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  
22.06.2008 FIVB 2008 World Grand Prix: China and Italy emerge as queens of first leg  
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