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VOLLEYBALL NEWS

21st World Grand Prix opens with showdown between top favourites

 
Brazil will be looking to regain their place at the top of the podium this year

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 31, 2013 - The first weekend of the 2013 World Grand Prix Preliminary Round is set to start this weekend with a match between two giants of the sport – Brazil and USA – in Campinas, Brazil on August 4.

It is a contest which spectators have come to expect, as the gold medal match over the past three years has featured these two teams. On each of these occasions USA came out on top, with record winners Brazil having to settle for second place.
However, the South Americans, ranked second in the world, have shown some signs of a comeback with a 3-1 victory in the 2012 Olympic final against world No. 1 USA. No doubt, Brazil are determined to take matters into their own hands and regain their World Grand Prix title this year.
 
This year sees a record 20 teams competing in the traditional showdown between the top women’s teams in the world.

The action will kick off in the following five locations on Friday, August 2: Campinas (Brazil); Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic); Macau; Ankara (Turkey); and Montichiari (Italy).

The opening weekend marks the start of three weeks of preliminary round action, during which 90 matches will be played, with the top five teams progressing to the Finals. Hosts Japan are guaranteed a place in the
World Grand Prix Finals, which returns to the country for the first time since 2009 and which will be held in Sapporo from August 28 to September 1.

In addition to five time World Grand Prix winners, USA and current Olympic champions, Brazil (who hold eight World Grand Prix titles), group A also includes Poland and current World Champions Russia.
 
As such, the opening weekend sees in action the USA, Brazil and Russia, three teams that have won 16 out of 20 World Grand Prix tournaments between them. “We are at the start of a new Olympic cycle, so the pack will be reshuffled,” said Brazilian coach Ze Roberto. “Our group in Campinas is complicated. All the teams are potential Grand Prix winners. These are exactly the kind of matches we need.”

“King Karch” Kiraly, who won Olympic gold in the hall in 1984 and 1988, and added a third gold medal in beach volleyball in 1996, has taken over from former coach Hugh McCutcheon. The team is, however, missing many of its top performers from last year, including Destinee Hooker, Megan Hodge, Logan Tom and Tayyiba Haneef-Park.  For Russia, former team leaders and world stars Ekaterina Gamova and Lioubov Sokolova are no longer in the line-up and there is a new coach at the helm. Dynamo Krasnador coach Yuri Marichev who now leads Russia’s women’s team.

Poland showed good form in its win against European League winners Germany in a recent friendly
. The organisers of September’s European Championship will meet Italy, who recently outclassed Bulgaria in two friendly matches.

In Pool E Argentina will face Kazakhstan while group D, which plays its games in Macao, also features a strong line-up, with three former Grand Prix winners in the form of China, Cuba and the Netherlands, as well as rank outsiders Bulgaria.

The Bulgarians, who qualified for the Finals of the European League, are one of three debutants in this year’s World Grand Prix season. Algeria, the first African team ever to play in the World Grand Prix, have a very difficult task ahead of them as the three top teams await them in Ankara, in the form of Turkey (last year’s World Grand Prix bronze medallists), Thailand (who finished fourth in 2012) and Japan (Olympic bronze medallists). The third newcomers to the Grand Prix are the Czech Republic, who face hosts the Dominican Republic in addition to Serbia (European champions) and Puerto Rico in Santo Domingo.

Millions of fans all over the world, watching live in the arenas and on TV, will be treated to action-packed matches at the start of a month of pure volleyball entertainment.

LIVE SCOREBOX | WEEK 1

 No

Phase

Date

Local
Time

GMT
Time

Teams

Live Score
Result

City

Description

Press
Conf.

Stats

Photos

19

D

02/08

17:00

09:00

CUB-NED

View

Macau




View

13

C

02/08

14:00

11:00

TUR-ALG

View

Ankara




View

20

D

02/08

20:30

12:30

CHN-BUL

View

Macau




View

14

C

02/08

17:00

14:00

THA-JPN

View

Ankara




View

25

E

02/08

17:30

15:30

GER-KAZ

View

Montichiari




View

26

E

02/08

20:30

18:30

ITA-ARG

View

Montichiari




View

1

A

02/08

16:30

19:30

RUS-USA

View

Campinas




View

7

B

02/08

17:00

21:00

PUR-CZE

View

Santo Domingo




View

2

A

02/08

19:00

22:00

BRA-POL

View

Campinas




View

8

B

02/08

19:30

23:30

DOM-SRB

View

Santo Domingo




View

21

D

03/08

14:30

06:30

BUL-NED

View

Macau




View

22

D

03/08

17:00

09:00

CHN-CUB

View

Macau




View

15

C

03/08

14:00

11:00

ALG-JPN

View

Ankara




View

3

A

03/08

10:00

13:00

BRA-RUS

View

Campinas




View

16

C

03/08

17:00

14:00

TUR-THA

View

Ankara




View

4

A

03/08

12:30

15:30

USA-POL

View

Campinas




View

27

E

03/08

17:30

15:30

GER-ARG

View

Montichiari




View

9

B

03/08

14:30

18:30

SRB-CZE

View

Santo Domingo




View

28

E

03/08

20:30

18:30

ITA-KAZ

View

Montichiari




View

10

B

03/08

17:00

21:00

DOM-PUR

View

Santo Domingo




View

23

D

04/08

13:00

05:00

BUL-CUB

View

Macau




View

24

D

04/08

15:30

07:30

CHN-NED

View

Macau




View

17

C

04/08

14:00

11:00

THA-ALG

View

Ankara




View

5

A

04/08

10:00

13:00

BRA-USA

View

Campinas




View

18

C

04/08

17:00

14:00

TUR-JPN

View

Ankara




View

6

A

04/08

12:30

15:30

RUS-POL

View

Campinas




View

29

E

04/08

17:30

15:30

ARG-KAZ

View

Montichiari




View

11

B

04/08

14:30

18:30

SRB-PUR

View

Santo Domingo




View

30

E

04/08

20:45

18:45

ITA-GER

View

Montichiari




View

12

B

04/08

17:00

21:00

DOM-CZE

View

Santo Domingo




View

2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page 
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