2004 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

 


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2005 edition
 
CUB/Cuba

These are trying times for the Cuban women’s Volleyball team with the ghosts of the glory days of the recent past haunting their slow progress. Indeed, those fantastic days of the 90s, when Cuba won the Olympic Gold three times are still constantly talked about among Volleyball aficionados around the world.

Coming off a sub-standard fifth place finish at the 2002 World Championship in Germany, a far from satisfactory seventh placing at the Montreux Masters, an 11th place finish at the 2003 World Grand Prix and a sixth at the 2003 World Cup a few months later, people in Cuba have been praying for rapid improvement in order to have some more medals to cheer.

The three time World Champions play a hard, Russian-style power game and are traditionally exceptional jumpers and hard hitters. Indeed a former U.S. coach said of them "They are the best. You love to watch them, but you don't like to play against them!"

The national team has included some of the world's great players but some of the side that won the gold medal in Sydney 2000 have now retired. Younger players are being drafted into the team to lay the foundation for a solid performance in Athens 2004.

Finishing second at the 2003 Norceca Championships did a lot to lift morale, book their Olympic ticket and help Cuba to maintain sixth place on the FIVB world ranking list.

The Cuban women have a distinguished record in international competition and were Olympic champions three times and have taken four World Championship titles.

Their performance in the 2004 World Grand Prix will be another litmus test on their progress ahead of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Overall Standings for Cuba
Word Grand Prix Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
11 122 87 35 71.31