Nagoya, Japan, November 23, 2009 – World champions Brazil successfully defended their FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup title amongst jubilant scenes in the Nippongaishi Hall after Brazil beat Japan in the final match on Monday. A full house gave Brazil the perfect reception after the world number one finished the tournament unbeaten with five wins from five with Cuba, four wins and one defeat, and Japan, three wins and two defeats, claiming silver and bronze medals respectively.
The FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup 2009 win follows Brazil’s earlier triumphs in 2005 and 1997 and adds another FIVB tournament to an impressive trophy collection, which includes the 2009 World League, 2007 World Cup and the 2006 World Championship titles. Cuba’s silver medal was their second-best finish in the tournament after a title triumph in 2001 while Japan recorded their best result in the tournament, which features the continental champions and a wild card entry, by claiming their first medal in an FIVB event for 32 years, since taking silver at the 1977 World Cup.
Award Ceremony Photo Gallery
Cuba beat Iran 3-1 (25-14, 25-22, 15-25, 25-15)
Cuba impressively beat Iran in the first match of the final day of competition but the NORCECA champions had to work hard to hold off a determined Iran side to end the six-team inter-continental championship with a 4-1 record. Iran closed at 1-4, having started the tournament with a spectacular 3-2 victory over Egypt. “We could have won more easily, but this was a good match for us,” Wilfredo Leon said. “I have had a very good experience during this tournament and I can now get ready for the next World Championship.”
Poland beat Egypt 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19)
Poland saved their best for last and beat Egypt in the second match of the final day. The European champions showed flashes of brilliance in a consistent and determined display to sweep the African champions and end the tournament in fourth position with a respectable 2-3 record. Egypt finished winless at 0-5. “I am very happy that we finished this tournament with another win,” captain Michal Bakiewicz said. “After yesterday, we played quite secure and it is very important for us because we started the tournament quite badly.”
Brazil beat Japan 3-0 (25-12, 26-24, 25-22)
Brazil clinched their third FIVB World Grand Champions Cup by sweeping Japan in the last match of the tournament to finish with a perfect 5-0 record. The South American champions showed Japan who was boss in a comprehensive victory. Japan finished the week at 3-2, good enough to take the bronze medal behind Cuba. “In the tournament as a whole we had our ups and downs but when we needed to be stable in the big matches we played better,” Brazil coach Bernardinho said. “That is the most important thing. Right now we are going to party tonight but from tomorrow I must start thinking how to build a stronger team for next year’s World League and World Championship.”
Final Standings: 1) Brazil, 2) Cuba, 3) Japan, 4) Poland, 5) Iran, 6) Egypt
Awards: MVP – R. Simon (CUB), Best Scorer: K. Shimizu (JPN), Best Spiker: R. Simon (CUB), Best Blocker: R. Simon (CUB), Best Setter: Bruno (BRA), Best Libero: Sergio (BRA)
For more info: Richard Baker - FIVB Deputy Communications Director
Mobile in Japan: +81 (0)80 1311 9988 or firstname.lastname@example.org