World Grand Prix: Bigger and better than ever
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2014 - The 22nd edition of the most prestigious annual volleyball competition for ladies starts this week with 28 teams from all corners of the globe participating. Kenya, one year after Algeria’s debut, are set to become only the second African team in the history of the competition. Belgium, Croatia, Mexico and Australia will also be making their first appearances in the FIVB World Grand Prix.
Brazil won the World Grand Prix in 2013|
These five teams take the total number of countries represented in the annual meeting of the world’s top national teams to 30 since the competition was introduced in 1993. Making their comeback in 2014 are Canada (whose most recent appearance came in 2003), Peru (2011) and Korea (2012). They are joined by the same 20 teams who produced some dramatic matches in last year’s competition. It goes without saying that all six former winners are represented again this year: record winners, defending champions and Olympic champions Brazil (9 titles), USA (5), Russia (3), Cuba (2), the Netherlands (1) and China (1).
Last year Brazil triumphed with a flawless record of five wins and 15:0 sets in the final round of the Grand Prix. Olympic silver medalists the USA, who claimed a hat-trick of World Grand Prix titles between 2010 and 2012, are also among the favourites. The big final of the FIVB World Grand Prix will take place like last year in Tokyo, Japan – a fact that ought to please Olympic champions Brazil, who have won the tournament the last four times it has been played there (2005, 2008, 2009, 2013). The preliminary round will see the twelve highest-seeded teams play round-robin tournaments to determine which four countries will progress to the final round. They will be joined at the grand finale from August 20-24 by the host nation Japan and the winner of the Final Four (from August 15-17 in Poland) from pools J to O.
Excitement is guaranteed at the 22 tournaments around the world – from Italy and Peru to Hong Kong and Macau – from the first round on July 25 to the final match day on August 24. The competition also looks guaranteed to set new records in terms of global media coverage. In recent years, over 700 million households on six continents were able to watch the games. This figure is constantly increasing with 31 international broadcasters transmitting primary footage. This is particularly remarkable given the serious competition the competition has faced – including the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Interest on the FIVB Web TV platform in countries to which TV rights were not sold, also soared. The FIVB World Grand Prix is a bestseller, which combines great sport with a spectacular show every year.
When it comes to growth, the history of the Grand Prix is without doubt a success story. When the competition made its debut back in 1993, it featured only eight teams – as it did between 1995 and 2002. In 1994 and from 2003 to 2010 this number increased to twelve. Sixteen teams were involved in the 2011 and 2012 Grands Prix. 20 last year, and now 28. In 2014, it promises to be more exciting than ever: Drama – and a host of new records – are guaranteed.
Other FIVB news
- FIVB Volleyball World League - LIVE
- Turkey hosts USA, Belgium, Italy in World Grand Prix
- Day 23 sees Brazil and France extend their lead after both record straight sets victories
- Antiga: "We are now playing for a ticket to the Finals in Rio"
- Australia take on Serbia and Turkey play USA, live on YouTube
- Poland and USA prepare for Pool B climax
- Sanderson ready for emotional homecoming
- FIVB World Grand Prix 2015 - LIVE
- Countdown begins to European Volleyball Gala and Champions League drawing of lots ceremony
- World Grand Prix Week 2 preview: All 28 teams play in thrilling matches around the world
- World League Week 8 preview: Group 3 finalists in the spotlight
- Serbian fans show their support
- FAN VOTE: Your play of week seven
- Senegal's Fatou signs two-year deal with Azerbaijani club
- Brazil win Men’s U21 Pan Am Cup
- FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, Day 3: Peru enjoys perfect opening weekend, Kazakhstan also three-from-three
- FIVB Volleyball World League week 7: Atanasijevic hammers Serbia to five-set win
- Getting Social: FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2015 Day 4
- Bright future awaits multi-talented Nora
- Germany show nerves of steel to claim first, historic European Games gold
- Peru go 2-0 on Day 2 of World Grand Prix; Kenya fight back to beat Mexico
- Brazil, USA, Netherlands and Belgium win on road in World League
- Shimizu, Ishikawa nearly help Japan upset France
- Turkey’s women claim gold at first ever European Games
- Germany and Bulgaria in final at Baku 2015 European Games
- Cuba, Kazakhstan, Peru and Colombia celebrate opening day with wins in World Grand Prix
- Czech Republic, Iran, Serbia and Argentina produce home victories on Day 20
- FIVB World League Week 7 - As It Happened
- Video: Former and current players celebrate 15th year anniversary of Serbia's Olympic gold medal triumph
- Media Guide released for exciting FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
- Turkey upset 4,500 home fans at European Games
- Slovaks join young players in Bratislava
- Holubec thanks fans for their support
- Draw maps out U21 World Championship
- FAN VOTE: Your play of week five
- Russia and USA meet in World League 'Match of the Week', live on YouTube
- Edgar leads Volleyroos in Group 1 challenge
- Kovac: "It will be very difficult to win"
- Group 3 travels to Taldykorgan for FIVB World Grand Prix opening weekend
- Poland to play Bulgaria in European Games semis, Germany take on Russia hoping to make amends for defeat in pool play
- Australia and Brazil not worried about fatigue
- Australia ready for improved World Grand Prix performance
- Men's U21 World Championship draw to take place in Tijuana
- Draw held in Argentina for U19 World Championship
- Finland know World League target
- World Grand Prix preview: Six-week, record-breaking spectacle kicks off in Mexico and Kazakhstan
- World League Week 7 Preview: France aim to equal Dutch record
- Poland, Serbia, Turkey and hosts Azerbaijan make European Games semis
- Australia brace for big showdown with Brazil in Sydney
- Montenegro lead the way in Group 3