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
- "World champs show volleyball is still growing" says Sykora
- “Iron Hammer” takes heart from encouraging new start
- Grankin inducted into elite Sergey Tetyukhin Club
- MVP award crowns Wlazly's persistence
- Qatar, Taipei complete final eight at Asian U20 champs
- Japan, Thailand bag crucial wins to reach Asian U20 quarterfinals
- Peru win gold medal at U20 Final Four Cup
- Tomis sets up U13 department in neighbouring city of Tulcea
- Swedish women, Norwegian men take gold at U19 NEVZA Championships
- "Unpredictable" World Championship impresses Zorzi
- Japan beat hosts Thailand to retain Asian Girls’ U17 crown
- China show dominance on third day of Asian U20 champs
- Four teams bettered previous bests at Italy 2014
- Peru to meet Argentina for the gold at U20 Final Four
- China and Korea clash top of agenda on day 3 of Asian U20 Championships
- Japan, hosts Thailand set up final showdown in Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Peru overcome Cuba to stay undefeated at U20 Cup
- Hosts Thailand up against Korea, Japan set cup 2012 final rematch with China in semi-finals of Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Peru and Dominican Republic open with victories
- MVP Hill shares World Championship glory
- Hong Kong outclass India in playoff of Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Watch: Hill, Zeng lead teams during impressive FIVB Women's WCH final
- Peru host U20 Final Four Gatorade Cup
- Japan aim to make it three in a row at 17th Asian Men's U20 Championship
- Volleyball Tracking System offers new insight for fans
- Hosts Thailand stun world champions China in Asian Girls’ U17 playoffs
- Russia retain first place in European women's ranking
- Panoramic view provides unique souvenir of Women's World Championship final in Milan
- Sixth edition of Denitza Krivova Memorial held in France
- China, Japan, Korea, Thailand send rivals packing at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Hosts Thailand, Japan, China, Korea top their pools at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- President Medina congratulates Dominican women’s team
- World champions USA claim top spot in women's ranking
- Brazil win South American U22 Championship
- Chinese Taipei suffer first loss at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- FIVB selects Rosetta Stone to enhance communication among athletes and referees
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Final Day - As It Happened
- USA's Kim Hill honoured with World Championship MVP award
- Golden moment closes World Championship
- USA win first World Championship title, China and Brazil complete the podium
- Cuba top U23 Men’s Pan Am Cup
- Who will be the Most Valuable Player at the 2014 World Championship?
- Coaches Lang Ping and Kiraly, star players 30 years ago, face off in title match
- More history to be decided in Finals
- USA and China to meet in World Championship final
- USA and China to battle for gold at FIVB Women’s World Championship
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 19 - As It Happened
- Strong start for competition favourites at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship in Thailand
- Volleyball and art collide for a great cause in Milan
- Volleyball celebrates 50 years at the Olympics