|The 2004 World Grand Prix
champions Brazil have one important mission at the
2005 edition: to add to their collection of World
Grand Prix titles, which at four (94, 96, 98 &
2004), currently makes them the most successful team
in the competition.
Of the other teams, Russia has won the title three
times but will not play in this year's competition,
USA and Cuba twice and China once.
In 2004, Brazil progressed through the three-week
preliminary round unbeaten, arriving in Italy as the
hot favourite for the final round.
And despite losing one pool match to Cuba, the South
Americans, using the experience of Fernanda
Venturini, Virna and Erika, overcame a determined
Italian side and passionate local crowd to win the
final 3-1. Venturini was elected the best setter of
In 2005, following a disappointing fourth place
finish at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, coach
Jose Guimaraes has introduced a lot of younger
players that he will be looking to develop and
expose in an effort to win back-to-back titles.
Brazil has played 11 times in the World Grand Prix;
having won 92 games with 36 defeats, which at 71.88%
is the most efficient success rate in Grand Prix
history. Cuba is second, with 71.85%.
Overall Standings for Brazil
Word Grand Prix Played
Total Matches played
Jose Roberto Guimaraes is the only Brazilian coach to win an Olympic gold medal (Brazil men in Barcelona 1992). As a player, Guimaraes was twice South America champion in 1973 and '75 and finished seventh at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
He started coaching in 1988 and in 1989-90 he was the Brazilian men's assistant coach under Bebeto de Freitas.
In 1991 his teams were second at the Women's Youth and Girls Junior World Championships, followed by gold medal success with the senior men's team at the 1992 Olympics. He then won the World League in 1993 before finishing third at the 1994 World League and fifth at the World Championship in Greece.
In 1995 he finished second in the World League and third in the World Cup before finishing fifth at both the 1996 World League and the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Now, in 2005, he has been in charge of the women