Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2008 - The FIVB World League 2008 will have a new team at the top of the honours for the first time ever since 1990 first edition. Serbia and USA will play for the gold medal on Sunday (12:30 local time) after their 3-0 Semi Final matches against Russia and Brazil. Host country Brazil has lost on Saturday the possibility to go for their eighth success, pairing Italy in the World League history. Bernardo Rezende’s team will play at 9:30 hrs for the bronze, facing Russia. The world's best Volleyball players are competing for more than USD 20 million in Prize Money in FIVB's flagship annual Men's competition.
The USA is at one step from its first FIVB World League title. In the first Semi Final on Saturday the Americans beat the host team of the Final Round by 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 27-25) to assure their spot in the gold medal match. USA played an outstanding match, with William Reid Priddy pushing his team against the steady Brazilian block. Even changing his setters, Brazil could not find a way to have better spiking percentage.
In a key point of the match, during the third set, USA Stanley scored three serve points in a row, making 18-14. Brazil reduced the difference and tied the set 22-22, but was not able to avoid the defeat: 27-25 on a mistake of Anderson.
USA Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said: “Brazil won all the major competitions in last eight years, so for us is a great result to overcome them. We just wanted to play better than we did yesterday and I am absolutely certain we did it.”
Brazilian Captain Giba replied: “The USA made a perfect match in tactical part. I am sorry about this defeat: we wanted so much to win this match in front of our fans.”
The second spot of the gold medal match of the FIVB World League 2008 went to Serbia after a three sets battle against Russia. The Serbian team beat the European rival by 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23). Ivan Miljkovic, opposite spiker of Serbia, led all scorers with 22 points. To the Russian, Semen Poltaviskiy scored 13 points, starting the match on the bench due to his aching back. Russia was very close to get one set. They brought many trouble to Miljkovic and took the control of the match 20-17. Serbia was brave enough to tie 21-21 and closed the door to the gold in front of the Russians.
Serbian Captain Nikola Grbic said: “I am really satisfied with result, but mainly because of our performance in the third set. Russia was winning and we had patience to wait for the opportunity to overcome them.”
“As I said before, in sports the strongest team has more chances of winning. Today, Serbia was better than us and deserved to win the game” said Russian Head Coach Vladimir Alekno.
“I hope to play a better match against Brazil. No matter which medal, going home with one is always better than nothing” was Russian Vadim Khamuttskikh’s comment.
The two semi-finals today were broadcasted by 21 different TV channels. For the Semi Final match BRA-USA, the satellite signals went to FIVB TV rightsholders in Cuba (ICRT), Venezuela (TVes), United States (ESPN-U) as well as into the Middle East (AL-JAZEERA SPORT), East-Asia (PLANETA SPORT) and SouthKorea (KBS-N), to name only a few out of the 21 TV channels downlinking the world feed. The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) is providing the transmissions out of Rio de Janeiro to their leased satellite capacities worldwide, serving for the matches on Saturday also various European broadcasters from Spain to Russia and from Greece to Finland live. Eurosport 2 provided delayed match coverage in Europe for the two Semi Finals as well.
The FIVB is proud to announce that its most outstanding TV brand, the FIVB World League, is continuously growing, developing and reaching new levels worldwide.
Full match descriptions, statistics, free photos for media purpose on FIVB.org
Match schedule (local time)
Sunday, July 27
09:30 Bronze-medal match: Russia - Brazil
12:30 Gold-medal match: Serbia - USA
World League Honours
(Full honours are reported on fivb.org, World League section, Competition info)
“Follow me” by Andrea Zorzi
The FIVB website is enriched with a special blog written by world champion Andrea Zorzi. Video interviews and articles are displayed every day from Rio, showing all Volleyball fans what is happening backstage at FIVB’s premier annual men's event. On line now the interview with USA spiker, William Priddy. The loss of Brazil against USA in the semi-final is analysed in detail by “Follow me” through interviews with Sergio and Richard Lambourne, the two liberos of the game.