of four finalists confirmed
Switzerland, July 04, 2004 – World League defending
champions Brazil and Olympic champions Serbia and
Montenegro confirmed their spots in the World League
Final Round alongside hosts Italy after collecting
double victories in Week 5 of the 2004 World League.
Pic: Serbia and Montenegro celebrate qualifying
for the World League Final Round, which starts on July
Their wins over Spain and China respectively
secured their positions at the top of Pool A and Pool C
to confirm their spots in the World League Final Round,
which starts on July 16 in Rome.
Brazil, who are also World Cup holders and world
champions, needed to win a minimum of four sets at the
beginning of the weekend to secure a Final Round spot
but their close fought victory on Friday over Spain 3-2
(25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 34-36, 15-4) was enough. Another
3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-19) victory on Sunday maintained
their unbeaten run in Pool A of the Intercontinental
Meanwhile, Serbia and Montenegro confirmed their Final
Round spot when they beat China in their first match on
Saturday 3-2 (27-25, 25-27, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11). The
defeat extinguished any hope China had of beating Serbia
and Montenegro for the top spot in Pool C and their
second match on Sunday was a mere formality for the
visitors 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-20).
The other Final Round finalists Italy also collected two
wins in Pool C on the weekend, beating Cuba 3-2 (17-25,
25-16, 21-25, 25-19, 15-8) and 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20)
The team to claim the last spot in the Final Round will
come from Pool B but will be decided in next week’s
final week of the Intercontinental Round.
With two games left to play both Bulgaria and France are
tied at the top of Pool B with seven victories and three
defeats, while Poland are also in with a chance with six
wins and four losses.
Bulgaria beat Poland twice in Varna on the weekend 3-0
(25-23, 25-20, 25-15) and 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-22)
while a second-string French side collected two
victories in Tokyo over Japan 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-20)
and 3-2 (25-27, 25-19, 25-16, 27-29, 15-11).
Next weekend’s final matches see Poland play France in
Katowice while Bulgaria hosts Japan.
The other games of the weekend saw Portugal beat Greece
twice in Pool A 3-2 (23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 15-13)
and (18-25, 17-25, 26-24, 25-22, 15-13).
Two finals spots
could be sealed this weekend
Switzerland, July 02, 2004 – Two of the three finalists
who will join Italy in the World League Final Round
could be confirmed this weekend following Week 5 action
in the 2004 World League Intercontinental Round.
Defending champions Brazil and last year’s runner’s up
Serbia and Montenegro need just one victory in Pool A
and Pool C respectively this weekend to win their group
and confirm their places with Italy, who automatically
qualify for the Final Round as hosts, at the World
League Final Round in Rome from July 16-18. Pool B will
provide the fourth finalist.
Pic: Brazil can qualify for the Final Round if
they beat Spain like they did in Week 2?
Unbeaten Brazil take on Spain in Valladolid – first
match on Friday at 18:00 GMT and the second on Sunday at
10:30 GMT – having beaten the Spaniards at home in Week
2 3-1, 3-0. The world champions and World Cup holders
need to either win one game or claim four sets from
their four remaining matches to progress to the Finals.
In Pool C, Serbia and Montenegro head to Shanghai in
China knowing one win will secure them a spot in the
Final Round. With seven wins already from eight matches,
the 2000 Olympic champions will extinguish any hope
China, who are in third place with three wins, have of
finishing top of the group. Both matches are at 08:00
GMT on Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend’s action begins on Friday with a crunch
Pool B match between Bulgaria and Poland in Varna at
15:00 GMT. Having played eight games so far in the
Intercontinental Round both teams, with five wins and
six wins respectively, are chasing the Final Round spot
which is awarded to the pool winner. Their second match
is on Saturday at 17:30 GMT.
Pool B is the tightest of the three pools with one win
separating Poland, Bulgaria and France. The Tricolors,
who have five wins to their name, play Japan in Tokyo
starting on Saturday at 06:00 GMT and Sunday at 05:00
In other action, Greece, who have four victories, travel
to Portugal looking for two 3-0 wins to keep in touch
with Brazil in Pool A. The first of the two matches in
Porto is at 16:00 GMT on Saturday and the second at
16:00 GMT on Sunday. Greece beat Portugal 3-0, 3-1 in
And in Pool C, Italy play Cuba in Havana on Saturday and
Sunday at 00:40 GMT looking to improve their record of
five victories and three defeats.
At the end of the six weeks of Intercontinental Round
action the best classified team from each pool joins
hosts Italy in the World League Final Round from July