Team News

16/05/2003 - Greece aiming for World League repeat in opening matches

Greece stocks up on new talent ahead of the Olympics 
The Hellenic National Men's Volleyball team will go to the 2003 World League with the same 12 key players who represented their country at the 2002 World Championship in Argentina, but the 18-man lineup already announced has been refreshed with a brace of young talents players from the junior national team. These include Nick Smaragdis (middle-blocker), George Stefanou (libero), Theoklitos Karipidis (wing-spiker), Stathis Ntonas (opposite) and Kostas Prousalis (setter), as well as possibly Andrej Kravarik. With one eye firmly on the 2004 Olympics at home in Athens, national coach Stelios Prosalikas considers that this year is 'transition' and understandably he wants to rest some of his stars from too much competition so that they are in peak condition for their home Olympics next year. The Greek team is making its seventh appearance in the World League and aim at making good impression, something that should be easy for them as they were already impressing observers at top 2002 competitions. more
Story by George Stefanis, Athens, Pic: Vasileous Kournetas going up for Greece in World League action.jpg 

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Greece - Pool D (scroll down for Spanish)

It was a physical education instructor from Athens, Anastasios Lefkadites, who was the first to teach Volleyball in Greece in 1922, but Greece was quick to affiliate itself with the FIVB, just two years after his founding in 1947 when in 1949, the country joined the sport's governing body. Three years later Greece played the very first international match against France in Paris. Although they lost 1-3 the Greeks played well, prompting a positive comment from a French newspaper, which said: "The Greeks surprised with their excellent brio, wit and artfulness." Today the Greek team continue to exhibit these qualities. Despite the early start, a systematic development of the sport in the country had to wait until the foundation of the Hellenic Volleyball Federation in 1970. In 1986, Greece qualified for the first time for the World Championship and placed 13th in France. Next year, the national team achieved a major success and won the bronze at the European Championship in Belgium. In 1994, Greece hosted the World Championship in its capital, Athens, and achieved a valuable sixth place. Last year, Greece was a surprise of the World Championship in Argentina, finishing a solid seventh and sending a strong signal about the determination of their preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games to be held in Athens. Greece joined the elite teams in the World League in 1993 and so far participated in six editions of the competition. In 2001 they returned to the prestigious League for the first time since 1996 and almost made it to the finals. Last year, the team whose objective is obviously Athens 2004, produced effective and entertaining Volleyball and finished ninth. In the 2003 World League, Greece, now at the 10th place of the FIVB World ranking, will meet France, Argentina, and Japan in Pool D. 

Squad: Björn Andrae, Armin Dewes, Christian Pampel, Norbert Walter, Ilja Wiederschein (all VfB Friedrichshafen), Eugen Bakumowski, Frank Dehne, Marco Liefke (all SCC Berlin), Jochen Schöps (VC Olympia Berlin), Michael Mayer, Sebastian Prüsener (both TSV Unterhaching), Simon Tischer (VC Eintracht Mendig), Till Lieber (evivo Düren), Ralph Bergmann (Knack Roeselare/Belgium), Stefan Hübner (Bossini Montichiari/Italy), Wolfgang Kuck (Montpellier UC/France), Mark Siebeck (PZU AZS Olsztyn/Poland), Georg Wiebel (Noliko Maaseik/Belgium). 

Prize Money
Greece Total Prize money US$
3 168 970
Overall Standings for Greece
World League Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
6 92 26 66 28.3

Grecia - (Spanish)
Fue un profesor de educación física de Atenas, Anastasios Lefkadites, quien enseñó en Grecia por primera vez voleibol en 1922, pero pese a ello los griegos fueron muy rápidos en afiliarse a la FIVB, apenas dos años después de su fundación en 1947, cuando en 1949 el país se unió al ente rector del voleibol mundial. Tres años después Grecia jugó su primer partido internacional contra Francia en París. Aunque perdieron por 1-3 los griegos jugaron bien, propiciando un buen comentario de un diario francés que dijo: "Los griegos sorprendieron con su excelente brío, inteligencia y arte". Hoy en día el equipo griego continúa exhibiendo estas cualidades. Pero el sistemático desarrollo del deporte en ese país tuvo que esperar a la fundación de la Federación Griega de Voleibol en 1970. En 1986 Grecia clasificó por primera vez a un Campeonato Mundial y obtuvo el puesto 13 en Francia. Al año siguiente, el equipo nacional conquistó su máxima victoria con la medalla de bronce en el Campeonato Europeo en Bélgica.. En 1994 Grecia albergó el Campeonato Mundial en su capital, Atenas, y logró un meritorio sexto lugar. El año pasado, los griegos fueron sorpresa en el Campeonato Mundial de Argentina terminando en un sólido séptimo lugar, y enviando fuertes señales de la determinación que tienen en su preparación con miras a los Juegos Olímpicos del 2004 a realizarse en Atenas. Grecia se unió a los equipos élite de la Liga Mundial en 1993 y hasta el momento ha participado en seis ediciones. En el 2001 regresaron al torneo tras su alejamiento en 1996 y casi llega a la final. El año pasado, el equipo cuyo objetivo obvio es Atenas 2004, produjo un voleibol efectivo y entretenido terminando noveno. En la edición 2003 de la Liga Mundial, Grecia que hoy ocupa el décimo lugar del ranking mundial de la FIVB, enfrentará a Francia, Argentina y Japón en la Serie D.