confirmed for Final Round
Switzerland, July 24, 2004 – Brazil, Cuba, China, USA,
Italy and Germany confirmed their places in the Final
Round of the 2004 World Grand Prix after the Preliminary
Round was completed on Saturday in Korea, China and
Pic: Tanja Hart (left), Angelina Gruen in action
during Germany's charge towards a Final Round spot
Heading into the third and final week of the
Preliminary Round, all 12 teams had a chance of claiming
a spot in the Final Round, which went to the best five
ranked teams and the organizer Italy but it was Germany,
playing in front of their own crowd in Rostock, who
pipped Russia and Poland to claim the sixth spot.
Germany needed to win their final three matches and that
is what they did, including two 3-2 thrillers against
Russia (25-18, 16-25, 27-29, 28-26, 15-12) and USA
(25-23, 21-25, 16-25, 25-17, 15-12) in their final two
games. Russia needed to win at least two of their
matches but they lost to USA 3-1 (25-13, 21-25, 25-21,
25-15) and Germany before beating Thailand 3-1 (22-25,
25-17, 27-25, 25-17).
Brazil claimed the top spot after beating second placed
Cuba in a decisive match in Jeju, Korea on Sunday 3-0
(25-20, 26-24, 25-22). The win completed nine straight
victories for Brazil, who also beat Korea 3-0 (25-18,
25-20, 25-17) and Japan 3-1 (25-13, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19)
during the final week. Cuba finished second after
beating Korea 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-22) and Japan
3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-22) before losing the key clash
Defending champions China finished third despite losing
their final match to Italy 3-1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-21,
25-20). The world number one team had earlier beaten
Poland 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-15) and Dominican
Republic 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-22). Italy, who finished
fifth, had earlier lost to 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18)
before beating Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-20, 23-25,
USA secured fourth spot by beating Russia 3-1 (25-13,
21-25, 25-21, 25-15) and Thailand 3-2 (25-17, 25-20,
22-25, 22-25, 15-5) before losing to Germany.
1 Brazil 9 wins o defeats
2 Cuba 8 wins 1 defeat
3 China 7 wins 2 defeats
4 U.S.A. 6 wins 3 defeats
5 Italy 6 wins 3 defeats
6 Germany 5 wins 4 defeats
7 Russia 4 wins 5 defeats
8 Poland 4 wins 5 defeats
9 Japan 2 wins 7 defeats
10 Thailand 1 win 8 defeats
11 Korea 1 win 8 defeats
12 Dominican Republic 1 win 8 defeats
The World Grand Prix Final Round featuring Brazil, Cuba,
China, USA, Italy and Germany starts on Wednesday in
Reggio Calabria and finishes on August 1.
Crunch time ahead
with final week of Preliminary Round action
21, 2004 - The third and final Preliminary Round of the
2004 World Grand Prix starts on Thursday with all 12
teams still in contention for the Final Round, which
will be hald in Italy next week.
Italy plus the top five ranked teams after the
Preliminary Rounds will qualify for the Final Round, and
all 12 teams can still finish in the top six.
Russia, in sixth spot, has three wins, while four teams
- Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, sit
at the bottom of the table with one win apiece. With
three matches remaining in the final week every still
has a chance of booking a ticket to Italy.
Pic: USA's defence was impressive in Week Two
The reason for starting the Preliminary Round one day
earlier this week is because of the final round
following directly after this weekend.
For the first time in the World Grand Prix history the
Preliminary Round of this important women's event will
be hosted in Germany. In Rostock the teams of Germany,
Russia, USA and Thailand will fight for the last ticket
to qualify for the final round.
Team USA has the best chance of qualifying for the Final
Round in Italy but with the German and Russian teams
trying to use their last chances for qualification the
tension and excitement will be enormous. Especially the
match on Friday between Germany and Russia, which will
be a decisive match.
In Hefei, China is ready to show to their home crowd
their best performance. It's the last time before going
to the Olympic Games that the team plays in China. The
Chinese Team will play against Italy, Dominican Republic
and Poland. The Chinese fans welcomed the Polish team.
After their excellent performance during the 2nd week
and still having the chance to qualify for the final
round the players are ready to spring a good surprise.
Korea, back as host organizer for the World Grand Prix
will host the last pool in Jeju City. The Korean and
Japanese teams need to bring their best result. With
Brazil and Cuba, ranked 1 and 2, both Asian teams will
have tough opponents.
The best two ranked teams after the first two weeks,
Brazil and Cuba will play the decisive match on the last
day of the competition on July 24.
The Final Round of the World Grand Prix will start on
July 28 in Reggio Calabria, Italy. The host organizer,
Italy and the best five ranked teams after the
preliminary round will qualify.