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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