Germany gave themselves a huge confidence
boost heading into the World Grand Prix when they beat the United States in the
final of the Montreux Volley Masters in June. This year’s tournament will mark
their seventh straight appearance on the World Grand Prix stage. The team took
the bronze medal in 2002 and 2009 but finished 11th last year.
Germany began 2014 ranked ninth in the
world, matching their highest position since Giovanni Guidetti took over as
coach in 2006. The team picked up where they left off in 2013 when they took
gold in the European League for the first time. They also reached the final of
the European Championship last year where they lost to Russia in Berlin. That
bitter pill followed defeat at the same stage of the tournament in 2011 when
they went down to co-hosts Serbia. They were also the competition’s bronze
medallists in their current incarnation in 1991.
Following reunification of the
country in 1990 the international records of GDR [East Germany] and West
Germany were allocated to the present national team, meaning they can boast gold
medals from the European Championships of 1983 and 1987 as well as the silver
at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.