2004 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

 


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2005 edition
 
POL/Poland

The Polish women’s national team was founded in 1947. In their first official international appearance the White and Reds lost to Czechoslovakia 1-3, nevertheless Poland soon joined the group of the world’s top teams and recorded significant achievements throughout the 1950s and 60s, including two Olympic bronze medals in Tokyo 1964 and Mexico 1968.

Since then, however, the last three decades were not so successful and the sudden but very enjoyable change came only in 2003.

New head coach Andrzej Niemczyk, who came back to the post after 26 years from his first stint, brought new spirit and gave inspiration to the previously faithless players of the national team. He somehow induced them to show their best on the court and now they do. Poland’s rising power was visible during the World Grand Prix continental tournament in August, when the home team finished runner's-up, claiming its spot in the 2004 Grand Prix.

Furthermore, the Poles pulled off a huge surprise during the last European Championship in Turkey, knocking over the hosts in straight sets in the final to claim gold.

Malgorzata Glinka was honored as the Best Scorer – and unofficially the MVP - of the tournament, while the team’s captain, Magdalena Sliwa, received an award for the Best Setter.
Although slightly disappointed to have only finished eighth at the 2003 World Cup in Japan, the Poles are still in superb spirits going into the 2004 World Grand Prix.

The current team is a combination of experience and youth. Veterans, like Sliwa or the head coach’s daughter, Malgorzata Niemczyk-Wolska, both 34, have an occasion to share their experience with young talents like Agata Mroz, Katarzyna Skowronska or two of Poland's 2003 Junior World Championship bronze medalists Anna Podolec and Izabela Zebrowska.

Placed 10th in the FIVB official world rankings, Poland will head into week one of the 2004 World Grand Prix playing Japan, Russia and Italy.
First edition of World Grand Prix for Poland.