Kazakhstan bring in experience for World Grand Prix opening weekend in Almaty
Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 24, 2014 – Hosts Kazakhstan will come in as the most experienced team in Pool P when the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix starts on July 25, at the Baluan Sports and Culture Palace.
World Grand Prix Pool P coaches gather ahead of first weekend of play in Almaty, Kazakhstan|
Kazakhstan will open their fifth World Grand Prix campaign as they face Australia in the 12.00 GMT (18.00 local time) encounter on Friday.
In Thursday’s press conference ahead of Pool P competition, Kazakhstan’s coach Oleksandr Gutor shared that he will bank on his team’s experience amidst a highly competitive pool in Almaty.
“We will play in a strong group, with the Czech Republic and Croatia. But we are also a strong team because we played with Cuba and Brazil last year in the World Grand Prix.”
Meanwhile, the debutants from Oceania stay unfazed as they brace for their opening match against the home team, and even after a Finals appearance for the Australian men at the FIVB Volleyball World League.
“What we take from that is that anytime, you can play well, and good things can happen,” said a hopeful Australia Coach Mark Barnard.
Earlier on Friday, the Czech Republic face Croatia at 09.00 GMT (15.00 local).
The Czech Republic finished 14th in their debut season at the 2013 World Grand Prix and will look to vastly improve on that result.
Carlo Parisi, coach of the Czech squad, is proud to gain this new experience as groundwork for greater achievements, with the World Championship season in sight.
“Our goal is to reach the Final Four. I know this is a hard tournament but we will try to play in Bulgaria,” said Parisi.
Croatia are likewise making their first World Grand Prix appearance.
“The team can start step-by-step. It is important to know that the players understand the level of competition. The next step is to try to play in the next group,” said Croatia coach Angelo Vercesi.
Croatia and Australia join Belgium, Kenya and Mexico as the five debutants in this year’s historic edition of the World Grand Prix, where 28 teams play in three groups.
Jumping from the 20-team format in 2013 to a record of 28 teams in 2014, the World Grand Prix takes the lead from the World League. The increase in participants is seen as a remarkable competition opportunity for both accomplished and debuting teams.
Other FIVB news
- Brazil defeat Canada before trip to France
- Teams aim to take their game a notch higher in Komaki
- Self-belief and hard work result in gold for Russia
- Honda presents FIVB with new CR-V
- Peru to warm up in the Dominican Republic
- Molero hired to coach Puerto Rico's U20 Women's team
- Teams travel from Sendai and Okayama to Nagoya
- VOTE: Rio 2016 dreams on the line
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 8
- USA, Russia, China, Serbia keep 7-1 win-loss cards on Day 8
- Six teams confirmed for Men's Club World Championship
- USA whitewash Cuba 3-0 to lead World Cup title race
- Favourites gear up for Men's World Cup
- U18 world champion Egonu an ambassador for the new Italy
- Canada coach Barrett: 'We are happy to arrive early'
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 7
- Serbia score huge upset on Russia on World Cup Day 7
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 6
- Brazil claim final USAV Cup win
- Russia and USA stay on top at start of World Cup second round
- Win with the #VabochanChallenge
- Teams expect tough competition in Sendai
- Cuba, Italy and Russia book semifinal tickets at Men's U23 World Championship
- Blengini and Juantorena claim win in run-up to World Cup
- Expectations rise as U21 World Championship nears
- Cuban captain says volleyball made dream come true
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 5
- Russia top World Cup first round rankings
- Nine clubs to compete for Asian title
- USAV Cup hosts claim first win
- Russia, Cuba, Italy and Turkey secure top 8 spots at Men's U23
- Top favourites succeed in Day 4 of World Cup
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 4
- Hosts concede second defeat to Brazil in USAV Cup
- Poland celebrates first U19 World Championship title
- Russia win clash of Titans at Men's U23 World Championship
- Men's U21 World Championship match schedule now online
- USA lose to Brazil in USAV Cup opener
- Poland defeat France in Wagner Cup
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 3
- Favourites start victorious at Men's U23 World Championship
- VOTE: Will Russia get their reward?
- Russia stand as lone unbeaten team on Day 3 of World Cup
- Follow the Men's U23 World Championship in the United Arab Emirates
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 2
- Coaches name Brazil, Russia and Italy as Men's U23 favourites
- China and Russia score back-to-back wins on Day 2 of World Cup
- As It Happened - FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015 - Day 1
- Russia, Cuba, USA, China, Peru and Japan seal victories in World Cup opener
- Taichung Bank capture maiden Asian Men’s Club title