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GRE/Greece

Finishing in seventh place in the 2003 World League was a fantastic result for a youthful Greek team that played with skill and exuberance all the way. And, with the 2004 tournament arriving just before the Summer Games in Athens, Greece will be giving their all once again to prove they are capable of mixing it with the best.

It was a physical education instructor from Athens, Anastasios Lefkadites, who was the first to teach Volleyball in Greece in 1922, but Greece was quick to affiliate itself with the FIVB, just two years after its founding in 1947 when in 1949, the country joined the sport's governing body. Three years later Greece played the very first international match against France in Paris. Although they lost 3-1 the Greeks played well, prompting a positive comment from a French newspaper, which said: "The Greeks surprised with their excellent brio, wit and artfulness." Today Greece continues to exhibit these qualities. Despite the early start, a systematic development of the sport in the country had to wait until the foundation of the Hellenic Volleyball Federation in 1970.

In 1986, Greece qualified for the first time for the World Championship and placed 13th in France. Next year, the national team achieved a major success and won the bronze at the European Championship in Belgium. In 1994, Greece hosted the World Championship in its capital, Athens, and achieved a valuable sixth place before becoming the surprise package at the 2002 World Championship in Argentina, finishing a solid seventh and sending a strong signal about the determination of their preparation for the 2004 Olympics. Greece joined the elite teams in the World League in 1993 and so far participated in eight editions of the competition. In 2001 they returned to the prestigious League for the first time since 1998 and almost made it to the finals. The following year, the team, whose objective is obviously Athens 2004, produced effective and entertaining Volleyball before finishing ninth while in 2003, Greece further improved, qualifying for the Final Round in Madrid before finishing seventh.

In the 2004 World League, Greece, now 13th on the FIVB world rankings, will meet Brazil, Spain and Portugal in Pool A.

Prize Money
Greece Total Prize money US$
4 037 170

Overall Standings for Greece
World League Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
7 107 33 74 30.8