1952: Soviet Union win double gold in Moscow
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 16, 2014 - The two FIVB Volleyball World Championships are the highlights of the year. In the run-up to the title showdowns for the men in Poland (August 30 to September 21) and for the women in Italy (September 23 to October 12), we take a look at the stories to emerge from previous competitions. In the second part of the series, we travel back in time to the World Championships in 1952, when the first women’s champions were crowned.
The Soviet Union won the inaugural edition of the Women's World Championships|
Three years after the successful premiere in Prague, Moscow hosted the second ever FIVB Volleyball World Championships from August 17-29, 1952. And changes were afoot: a women’s world champion was determined for the first time. Furthermore, the showdown was no longer an all-European affair, as teams from the Far and Middle East joined the party in the form of India (men and ladies), Israel (men) and Lebanon (men).
Above all, however, the days in Moscow were an outstanding international advertisement for the sport of volleyball. Over 250,000 spectators flocked to the matches, which, like the 1949 FIVB World Championships, were held outdoors. The final matches in Moscow’s Dynamo Stadium alone attracted 50,000 enthusiastic volleyball fans. And the fans of the home team had particular reason to celebrate: both titles went to the hosts from the Soviet Union, and without dropping a single set.
The men’s team, the nucleus of which was made up of the squad that won gold in 1949, defended its title in style. Stars like Sergey Nefedov, Mikhail Pimenov, Konstantin Reva, Vladimir Shagin and Alexey Yakushev ended the championship with eight victories, winning 24 sets and losing none. In a repeat of the final three years earlier, their arch-rivals from Czechoslovakia were swept aside 3:0 in the final on August 29, 1952. Bronze went to Bulgaria, resulting in an identical podium to that at the very first FIVB World Championship.
In total, eleven teams took part in the second men’s tournament. The historic first win for a non-European team came courtesy of Israel, who defeated Lebanon 3:0 in the preliminary round. The Eastern European teams’ dominance was clear for all to see again: Romania and Hungary finished fourth and fifth, with sixth-placed France the first team from Western Europe. The French, however, lost all five matches in the final round. The best non-European team was India in eighth, followed in ninth and tenth by Lebanon and Israel.
Eight teams lined up in the first championship for women and the premiere also featured a non-European team in India. The team from the subcontinent, however, was unable to win a single set in its seven matches. The competition was played in a round robin format. As in the men’s tournament, the Soviet Union were the hot favourites - after all, the team had won the inaugural European Championship the previous year. However, it was a lot closer than many had predicted, with the winner only confirmed after the final match against rivals Poland on August 29.
By the time they reached the final, both teams had won their matches against the eventual bronze medallists from Czechoslovakia, as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, France and India. In the final match to determine the first Women’s World Champions, victory was never in doubt for the Soviet team, which included the legendary Aleksandra Chudina. The Soviet Union triumphed 3:0 against the Poles. This result meant that the Soviet ladies also came through their seven matches without the loss of a single set to crown the volleyball spectacle with double gold for the hosts.
Read about the first edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Championships by clicking on the link below.
1949: Soviet Union win inaugural World Championships
Other FIVB news
- Preparations in full swing at PSL Manila
- Galaxy of Olympic stars in 2016-17 Brazil Superleagues
- Iran, China to clash in final of Men's AVC Cup
- Bidding process opened for 2017 Men's Club World Championship
- Iran, Japan, China, Chinese Taipei reach AVC Cup semifinals
- 2017 World League Finals bidding process launched
- Angela Leyva in rising orbit ahead of 2017 World Grand Prix Group 2
- World Championship beckons for Dominican Republic, Argentina and Cuba after U23 Pan Am Cup
- Ahead of 2017 Grand Prix European squads excel in continental qualifiers
- Trentino 4th in Italian Supercup ahead of Club Worlds
- World League hopefuls all advance to European Championship finals
- China, Iran top preliminary-round pools in AVC Cup
- Ze Roberto to stay on as coach of Brazil women's team
- Change of guard for Venezuela's men's National Team after departure of Nacci
- One month on, Rio in our hearts
- China confirm Olympic supremacy with Asian Cup title
- Men's Club World Championship takes on Olympic flavour as rosters are unveiled
- Looking back: China win Olympic gold
- Mauritian Volleyball League sees two first-time champions
- Japan, Thailand top pools at AVC Cup for Women
- Kenia Carcaces back at Volero Zürich
- Giovane Gavio happy to be coaching Brazil U-21 team
- 2017 World Grand Prix draw completed - Olympic champions China to play silver medallists Serbia in Week 3
- Increase in teams and record prize money headlines World Grand Prix Council meeting
- Referee preparation programme praised
- President Graça hails successful World Grand Prix Finals in Thailand
- FIVB Volleyball House wins award for best hospitality house of Olympic Games in Legacy category
- Olympic final rematch confirmed as 2017 World League draw completed
- We must continue our exceptional growth - President Graça
- Quality and consistency key to success of a global World League
- Rio 2016 stars to descend on Manila for Club World Champs
- Argentina win U23 Men’s Pan American Cup
- Argentina and Cuba to play for gold in Men's U23 Pan Am Cup
- Semifinals set in Men’s U23 Pan American Cup
- Volleyball Australia prepares for Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle
- FIVB survey translated into five languages
- Smashed, tied, revised or still standing: The Records of Rio 2016
- Dominican Republic win NORCECA U18 title in dramatic fashion
- Pools and schedule outlined for Men's Club World Champs
- Trentino, UPCN and Bolivar join top teams at Men’s Club World Champs
- Argentina, Cuba get direct access to Men's U23 Pan Am Cup semifinals
- Chile, Cuba and Colombia get solid victories at Men's U23 Pan Am Cup
- A month after opening, Brazil still bask in Rio 2016 gold glory
- One month after first serve, memories of Rio still stay strong
- Men's U23 Pan Am Cup opens third edition in Guanajuato
- New Tech: The most eagle-eyed coaches at Rio 2016
- Russia women win EuroVolley U19 to earn world champs spot
- Kim Yeon-koung learning lessons from Rio
- Brazil victorious in front of more than 30,000 fans as Serginho says farewell
- Zhu Ting nominated for Sportswoman of the Year Award