Poland claimed their first ever World League title
following an exhilarating 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) win over USA in the
final of the 2012 FIVB World League at the Arena Armeec in Sofia,
In their first ever World League final, last year’s bronze medallists were in devastating form. They dropped only two sets against Brazil before beating the hosts Bulgaria in the semifinals in straight sets and then winning the World League trophy and the $1m prize.
The 2012 World League is Poland’s first international title since the 1976 Olympics, which adds to their 1974 World Championship crown.
For USA, a repeat of 2008 when they won the World League and Olympic titles did not happen this time but the silver medal – which adds to their one gold and two bronze to become the fifth most successful country in the World League behind Brazil (16 medals), Russia (14), Italy (13) and Cuba (9) - was impressive considering the start of their World League campaign when they lost three matches in a row.
Earlier in the day, Cuba beat Bulgaria in a superb
five-set thriller 3-2 (25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12) for their
first World League medal since a bronze in 2005. It is Cuba’s third
World League bronze in total and adds to their one title and five
For Bulgaria it was their fourth time placing just out of the medals after finishing in a similar vein in 1994, 2004 and 2006.
|2008||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||U.S.A.||Serbia||Russia|
|2005||Belgrade, Serbia||Brazil||Serbia & Montenegro||Cuba|
|2004||Rome, Italy||Brazil||Italy||Serbia & Montenegro|
|2003||Madrid, Spain||Brazil||Serbia & Montenegro||Italy|
|2002||Belo Horizonte, Brazil||Russia||Brazil||Yugoslavia|
|1999||Mar del Plata, Argentina||Italy||Cuba||Brazil|
|1995||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Italy||Brazil||Cuba|
|1993||São Paulo, Brazil||Brazil||Russia||Italy|