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Italy took the gold medal at the FIVB Women’s World
Grand Champions Cup 2009 at their first attempt but
they had to fight very hard to get it. They overcame
hosts Japan 3-1 (32-30, 25-22, 24-26, 25-18) in a nail-
biting two-hour match at Fukuoka’s Marine Messe to
finish the tournament unbeaten after five matches.
Brazil (4:1) finished second, the Dominican Republic
(3:2) were third while Japan finished fourth with two
wins. The Italian victory completed a stellar year for
the Azzurre after they had already won the Mediter-
ranean Games and the European Championships. The
2007 World Cup champions only conceded three sets
all tournament. It was a consummate performance in
front of full stadiums all week long and an internation-
al television audience including millions worldwide.
On the final day Italy relied on the scoring prowess of
Francesca Piccinini, who registered 18 points while
Antonella Del Core and tournament MVP Simona Gioli
managed 17 apiece. Erika Araki top-scored for Japan
with 20 points.
Grand Champions
at their first attempt
2009 FIVB Women’s Grand Champions Cup
The World Cup champions on the podium
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