only unbeaten team after two weeks
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 13, 2004 – Defending World
League champions Brazil are the only side to keep an
unbeaten record following the second weekend of matches
of the $13m World League.
Brazil, who as world champions and world cup title
holders are favourites to win the World League title
again, came from one set down to defeat Spain 3-1
(26-28, 25-14, 25-19, 25-20) on Saturday before
collecting a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-16) win on Sunday in
front of 11,000 fans for each match in Sao Paolo. They
maintain their perfect record of four wins from four
matches in Pool A to sit two points clear of Greece, who
registered their first wins of the competition with 3-0
(25-20, 25-16, 25-18) and 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-22,
25-13) victories over Portugal.
"The home fans always make a huge party for our team,”
Giovane Gavio, the Brazlian captain said. “Sometimes it
can affect our emotions and I think this happened in
game one. In the second game we were much more relaxed
on the court and played with much more consistency.”
Meanwhile, Poland and Italy, who were both unbeaten
after the first weekend, lost their first matches of the
competition in Week Two.
Poland beat Bulgaria 3-1 (25-22, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23) in
their first match on Friday in Bydgoszcz but Bulgaria
fought back on Saturday to win 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-22,
25-20) for their second win of the tournament. Poland
now sit equal with France, who recorded two straight
sets victories over Japan, in Pool B with three wins
from four matches.
Italy still hold a one point lead over Serbia and
Montenegro and Cuba in Pool C despite losing their first
match of the competition on Friday to Cuba. The young
Cuba side fought bravely to prevail 3-2 (29-27, 23-25,
23-25, 25-19, 15-13) in Livorno before Italy reversed
the result on Sunday with a comprehensive 3-0 (25-19,
25-23, 25-14) victory.
China collected their first win of the tournament by
defeating last year’s runner’s up Serbia and Montenegro
on Friday in Novi Sad 3-2 (28-26, 20-25, 25-22, 19-25,
16-14). However, after the stunning victory, China were
no match on Saturday in Beograd as Serbia and Montenegro
strolled to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-19) win.
The 2004 World League continues next weekend with 12
more games featuring two more games for each side.
The top three teams will join hosts Italy in the World
League Final Round from July 16-18.
Plenty at stake for
teams in Week Two
Switzerland, June 11, 2004 – Three teams - Greece, Japan
and China - will be looking to record their first
victories of the 2004 World League when Week Two of the
FIVB’s premier international men’s Volleyball tournament
begins on Friday.
Greece, the hosts of the 2004 Olympic Games, play
Portugal in the opening match of Week Two in Larissa
starting at 14:00 GMT. In last weekend’s opening round
Greece were beaten twice by World League champions
Brazil and currently sit bottom of Pool A with two
Pic: Ko Tanimura and Japan are looking for their
Brazil, meanwhile, host Spain, who won one game and lost
another against Portugal in round one, in the other Pool
A action in São Paulo starting on Saturday (13:00 GMT).
In Pool B, Japan will take on France, who won one of two
games against Bulgaria last week, in Paris with their
first match starting at 19:00 GMT on Friday. Meanwhile,
undefeated Pool B leaders Poland host Bulgaria on Friday
(16:50 GMT) in the first of two matches over the weekend
The third side still to win, China, have a big
assignment in front of them in Pool C. They travel to
the home of last year’s World League runner’s up Serbia
and Montenegro to play in Novi Sad and Beograd on Friday
(15:30 GMT) and Saturday (15:30 GMT) respectively. The
Blue Team are aiming for nothing less than two victories
after a win and a loss against Cuba in Week One.
“We could have been better against Cuba, but now we are
only thinking about the next matches,” said Ljuba
Travica, the head coach of Serbia and Montenegro. “China
has a young but very promising team. We want to play in
the final tournament in Rome and that is why we can't
let any mistakes happen.”
The other clash in the pool offers two exciting matches
between unbeaten Italy and the developing Cuban side in
the Italian cities of Livorno on Friday (18:30 GMT) and
Montecatini on Sunday (16:00 GMT). Italy, as hosts of
the World League Final Round, automatically qualify for
the final phase, which will be held in Rome from July
16-18. But they already showed they are on top of their
game in last weekend’s opening round when they beat
China twice (3-0, 3-1).
The best classified team from each pool in the
Intercontinental Round will join hosts Italy for the
four-team final round.
With $13m in prize money the World League is the richest
and most significant annual FIVB tournament and this
year’s competition is no different with the crème de la
crème of international men’s Volleyball doing battle.