9
Final Standings
FIVBWORLD LEAGUE 2012
1
Poland
POL
2
USA
USA
3
Cuba
CUB
4
Bulgaria
BUL
5
Germany
GER
5
Brazil
BRA
7
France
FRA
8
Russia
RUS
9
Serbia
SRB
10
Argentina
ARG
11
Italy
ITA
12
Canada
CAN
13
Finland
FIN
14
Korea
KOR
15
Japan
JPN
16
Portugal
POR
Itwas the crowningmoment for Poland. Having builtmomentum
with successive medals in FIVB events, they finally struck gold
with their World League triumph in Sofia. Following on from
2011
which saw them win World League and European bronze
as well as World Cup silver, it capped a superb 12 months for
Andrea Anastasi’s men.
Playing in their first ever World League final, Poland trounced Olympic
champions USA 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) at the Arena Armeec to take
the title, having gone unbeaten through pool play dropping only two
sets against Brazil before beating the hosts Bulgaria in the semifinals in
straight sets.
The triumph was coach Anastasi’s fifth World League title following two
as a player for Italy (1990, 1991) and two as their coach (1999, 2000).
Poland’s triumph, built on the class of MVP Bartosz Kurek, was also a
reflection of how the sport is growing and the number of countries
who are now knocking on the door to success.
Cuba claimed the bronzemedal after beating Bulgaria in a five-set thriller
(25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12).
It was their first World League
medal since 2005, and a team captained by 18-year-old Wilfredo Leon
and including four other teenagers showed that a new generation of
players is ready to match the great Cuban teams of the past.
FIVBWORLD LEAGUE
MVP Bartosz Kurek sends Poland on their way to a first FIVB title since the
1974
World Championships, with victory over Cuba in Pool F in Sofia
The triumph was coach Anastasi’s fifth World League title following two as a
player for Italy (1990, 1991) and two as their coach (1999, 2000)