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FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil and Serbia earn straight wins on 1st day in Rio

Russian Semen Poltavskiy spikes against Brazilian Giba's block

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2008 – Two 3-0 matches opened the Final Round of the 2008 FIVB World League in Rio. Brazil beat Russia, while Serbia did not face many problems against USA. Winners of the last five editions of the FIVB World League, reigning Olympic and World Champion Brazil debuted perfectly in the Final Round. In a meeting of the Volleyball titans, the team coached by Bernardo Rezende, cheered on by more than 10,500 fans, overcame Russia 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-15) at Maracanazinho Gymnasium. The best scorers of the match were Dante, of Brazil, and Semen Poltavskiy, of Russia, with 16 points each.


“We cannot face this result as a real test for Brazil,” said Bernardo Rezende, the Brazilian Head Coach. “Russia made many mistakes and did not play in the way they use to do. We need to keep improving.”


Russian Head Coach Vladimir Alekno replied: “It is always the same story when we play against Brazil. We dispute point by point and, in the end, they go ahead. We made many mistakes on serving and this was the difference.”


In the second match of the day, looking for their first title in FIVB World League, the teams of Serbia and USA opened Pool F. At the end of the match, the European team won 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-17) and added their first two points in the rankings. The spiker Ivan Miljkovic of Serbia led all scorers with 16 points. American Clayton Stanley scored 10 points.


Serbian Captain Nikola Grbic said: “I am pretty satisfied with our game, especially in block and defense. I really hope we can keep this rhythm until Beijing.”


A sad Thomas Hoff, USA Captain, said: “The biggest disappointment to me is the fact that we did not play as a team. We need to recover the way of playing we had before. Now we will have to clear our mind to play against Poland. I don’t want to talk about tactics; we have to look at our side first.”


On Thursday, the wild card Japan and Poland will make their debut in Rio facing, respectively, Russia and USA.


Full match descriptions, statistics, free photos for media use can be found at


Match schedule

Thursday, July 24

10:00 JapanRussia

13:15 USAPoland


Friday, July 25

10:00 BrazilJapan

13:15 PolandSerbia


Saturday, July 26

10:00 Semi-final 1st F – 2nd E

13:15 Semi-final 1st E – 2nd F


Sunday, July 27

09:30 Bronze-medal match

12:30 Gold-medal match


“Follow me” by Andrea Zorzi

The FIVB website is enriched with a special blog written by former World Champion Andrea Zorzi. Video interviews and articles are displayed every day from Rio, showing to all Volleyball fans what is happening backstage at FIVB’s premier annual Men’s event. On line now the interview with Serbian Head Coach Igor Kolakovic.



More press releases
27.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: First-ever gold medal for USA; Brazil off podium after 10 years  
26.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Serbia and USA for the gold medal on Sunday  
25.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil, Serbia, Russia and USA make semi-finals  
24.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: An easy task for Russia against Japan, USA win long battle with Poland  
23.07.2008 A yellow wave of support for Serbia  
23.07.2008 More than 75 countries will watch first match of World League Finals on TV  
22.07.2008 Host country Brazil ready to face Russian block on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro at FIVB World League Final Round  
20.07.2008 Serbia, Poland join hosts Brazil, Russia, USA, wild-card Japan in FIVB World League Final Round after exciting end to Intercontinental Round action  
16.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Serbia, Poland, China chasing remaining two Final Round places  
15.07.2008 Japan is granted the wild card for the 2008 World League Final  
13.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Russia and USA reach Brazil as qualified teams for Final Round in Rio  
10.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Russia, USA, Poland in pole positions as other teams get ready to mount challenge on fifth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
06.07.2008 France, Russia, USA, Poland sit in qualifying positions to join Brazil in FIVB World League Final Round after fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
02.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Excitement builds as fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round action approaches  
30.06.2008 Brazil, Russia, China, USA lead pools after third weekend of FIVB World League Intercontinental Rounds  
27.06.2008 I am very satisfied with this victory, says French Coach Philippe Blain  
25.06.2008 Only one team still with 100 percent record as FIVB 2008 World League enters third weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
22.06.2008 Russia still unbeaten after second weekend in 2008 FIVB World League  
22.06.2008 Venezuela make history in beating Serbia  
19.06.2008 Big teams face tricky away trips as 2008 FIVB World League heats up on second weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
16.06.2008 Overall Report (June.14th ~June.15th)  
16.06.2008 Brazil, USA, Russia, Bulgaria, France get off to perfect starts as fans flock to start of 2008 FIVB World League  
12.06.2008 2008 FIVB World League to start Friday with exciting clashes between top teams  
06.06.2008 Countdown to 2008 FIVB World League: 'Match of the Week' Brazil vs. Serbia and China vs. Japan stand out ahead of first weekend of Intercontinental Rounds  
03.06.2008 FIVB approves Chinese request to switch host city from Chengdu to Hangzhou for 2008 World League matches after devastation caused by earthquake  
28.05.2008 U.S Men hold of Argentina in five-set friendly win  
28.05.2008 FIVB confirms World League 'Match of the Week' schedule: Six live Intercontinental Round matches made available free of charge to TV channels  
16.05.2008 Egypt Head Coach selects squad for 2008 FIVB World League; Iran camp cancelled  
30.04.2008 FIVB confirms receipt of World League team lists  
15.04.2008 USA Men to play against Argentina  
03.04.2008 FIVB confirms 2008 World League match schedule  
21.02.2008 USA Volleyball announces host cities for 2008 World League  
12.02.2008 Venezuela to compete in the 2008 FIVB World League  
23.01.2008 A bid for a place in the FIVB World League 2008, after Canada’s withdrawal  
15.10.2007 Spain returns to the FIVB World League 2008  
28.09.2007 FIVB World League 2008: a confirmation of success. Brazil will organize the Final Round. Francesco Franchi nominated President of the World League Council