Ningbo, China, August 25, 2010 – Beijing Olympic runners-up the United States and 2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners Italy will clash with each other on the second day of 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round on Thursday when Poland challenge Brazil and China take on Japan.
The Italians, who have never won a title at the annual women’s volleyball tournament, led the overall World Grand Prix record between the two sides 7-4, but lost to the USA 3-1 in their preliminary encounter two weeks ago in Thailand.
FIVB World Grand PrixThe last match of the day will be played between the hosts and their Asian arch-rivals Japan. Under the guidance of former head coach Cai Bin, the Chinese women lost to Japan twice in invitational matches last year, arousing intensive critics from the media. As Cai’s successor, Wang Baoquan will try his best to prevent this from happening again, but it will be no easy task as the Japanese were obviously boosted morally by their 3-2 upset win over Brazil on Wednesday. China had an overwhelming 17-1 win-loss record against Japan in World Grand Prix history.
Disappointed by an opening full-set loss to the United State, the Polish women, who were making their second appearance in FIVB World Grand Prix Finals, will be seeking first win over Brazilians in tournament history. Having lost all six encounters with the reigning Olympic champions, Poland need a bit of luck to make the history.