Katowice, 15th July 2007 – Brazil wins its seventh World League title, the fifth in a row. In a very tough final match, in the full packed Spodek hall in Katowice (Poland) with more than 12’000 people, Rezende’s team signs a 3-1 result against Russia to go for the gold. Bronze medal match went to U.S.A., which beat Poland 3-1: this doubles the third medal signed by the U.S.A. in 1992. The Brazilian picked up a team cheque for 1 million US dollars. Then Ricardinho Garcia tears were unstoppable when Dr. Rubén Acosta H, FIVB President, gave him the Most Valuable Player prize. It ended just like it had begun for the magnificent Rezende’s squad: this team started is victorious path by winning the 2001 World League in Katowice.
Brazil showed its class, defeated the powerful Russian team 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-22) and won the World League Finals. Both teams started their game playing very carefully in defense and most of the points scored in the beginning of the set were a result of opponent’s errors. Most of the set belonged to the Russians, mainly thanks to very good serves. They scored four aces in this element, two by Poltavsky and two by Volkov. On the Brazilian side, Giba and Dante had some problems with reception. In the second set Brazil was making more unforced errors, compared to their usual level of performance and quickly lost the advantage they had taken earlier. Canarinhos were losing 16-19 when Murilo entered the court and strengthened Brazil’s wing. They started to lower the point difference and finally Andre’s attack finished the set 23-25 in the first attempt. Russian flagship server – “Acetapenko” Ostapenko entered the court for good and reinforced his team considerably in the third set. It was a fight for every point and Russians managed to pull away a bit only after two serve aces by Poltavsky. Coach Alekno made a curious experiment, by placing Kazakov on the opposite’s position for two actions. Brazil took the lead again and finished the set 28-26. In the fourth set the game was still very balanced. Brazilian attack and block was working better and better. Two shortest attackers in the court – Giba (192 cm) and Murilo (190 cm) were carrying the whole weight of Brazilian attack and did very well in going around the world’s tallest set of blockers. Neither of the teams could pull away but when Brazil blocked Poltavski two times in a row they earned their first match ball. The second one gave the ultimate victory to them.
The third place is a comeback for U.S.A. In the World League honours they had the same place in 1992: this is the second podium ever in 18 years of the FIVB event. Polish team didn’t manage to put itself together mentally after yesterday’s defeat. USA won 3-1 (25-19 25-21 22-25 25-19) and the bronze medal of World League 2007 is theirs. Fans filled the “Spodek” hall to capacity to watch Poland’s last 2007 World League match. The White-and-Reds were supported by the two-time European Champions – Polish Women National Team, who watched the match from the tribunes.
In the first set, after 10.10, the Americans started a straight 5 point run. It was not about finesse, nor technique, just pure hammering - but it worked. USA was one step ahead of Poland throughout the whole 2nd set, with only a 7-8 for Lozano’s team. Substitutions (Swiderski, Plinski and Zygadlo in) made by coach Lozano didn’t change that situation much. In the 3rd set Poland was presenting itself in the usual lineup again. The 10 minute break between the sets woke them up a bit. USA started the pursuit after a 16-21 and managed to reduce that difference. The Americans defended the first set ball, Wlazly finished the second one from the second line. After loosing 8-3, changing the opposite Wlazly with Szymanski was Lozano’s last hope. Polish players were unable to motivate themselves, still suffering the effects of the defeat in Semi Final. Too many unfinished actions and lack of determination resulted in a score of 16-8, too late to do anything.
2007 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE – FINAL STANDINGS
7. Cuba, Finland.
9. China, Italy, Korea, Serbia.
13. Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Japan.
2007 FINAL ROUND BEST PLAYERS
MVP: Ricardo Garcia BRA
Best Scorer: Semen Poltavsky RUS
Best Spiker: Yuriy Berezhko RUS
Best Blocker: Gustavo Endres BRA
Best Server: Semen Poltavsky RUS
Best Setter: Pawel Zagumny POL
Best Libero: Richard Lambourne U.S.A.
GOLD MEDAL MATCH ON TV IN 110 COUNTRIES!
31 TV channels, over 1,1 Billion TV viewers, 110 countries, 23 languages speaking have followed the gold medal match. The World League TV coverage has reached all Central and Latin America, all Middle East and North Africa, all North America, Asia and entire Europe.
All FIVB rightsholders and all host TV broadcasters were broadcasting the gold final match. Even the TV channel Country Canada was having a live 7 hours transmission for the final day showing all bronze and gold final matches. FIVB English Commentary, Mr Paul Sunderland, was commentating all 10 matches live via satellite and all 3 Eurosport channels have shown the gold final match semi-live on the channels Eurosport France, Eurosport and Eurosport 2 with various repeats.
Regarding Asia and America, TV coverage was live in China, live in Korea, and also live in Japan on FUJI CS721, the sports channel of FUJI TV Network, the Host TV Broadcaster of FIVB World League 2007. On the national network of FUJI TV a 1 hour highlight show will be be broadcasted to all Japanese Volleyball fans as well. Same for the national public TV CBC in Canada, TV Globo in Brazil and national public TV channels of RAI in Italy. Canada, USA, Cuba, Brazil and all Central and Latin American live coverage by ESPN Dos and ESPN+, those are all territories of the entire American continent including all Caribbean Islands. FIVB is proud to have the major sports networks ESPN Latin America and ESPN-U North America contracted for World League Television coverage.
In Middle East, North Africa and Europe, in addition to various European TV national channels, the major sports channels were involved in World League, like all pan-European Eurosport networks and all Al-Jazeera Sport Channels. So in total 31 TV channels were showing full match coverage of the Gold Final match.
“FOLLOW ME” BY ANDREA ZORZI WITH GIBA AND VERBOV
During the Final Round, the FIVB web site (www.fivb.org) has added a new section, “Follow me” by Andrea Zorzi, with special text and video contribution by Andrea Zorzi. The famous former Italian National Volleyball player guides the surfers of the net through the World League secrets, analyzing technical aspect, meeting coaches and players through one-to-one interviews.
Just before the Gold Medal Final, Zorzi had a double interview with the Russian libero Verbov and the Olympic and World Champion Giba. Click the link to “Follow me” section in the FIVB home page to see the videos.
Match info, press conferences and free pictures of the games available on www.fivb.org