FIVB World Grand Prix now 150 days away
FIVB 2010 World Grand Prix
Women's World Rankings
Men's World Rankings
The locations for all preliminary rounds of the competition were confirmed on January 29, with Ningbo, China hosting the final round for the second time after hosting the 2007 contest, which was won by the Netherlands.
And whilst the venues prepare to host eager Volleyball fans, players and coaches prepare to battle it out across the globe.
Brazil will begin the competition as one of the favourites to win following an inspired display at last year’s tournament, however despite their current form, a number of other sides are looking to dethrone the defending champions.
Italy had a marvelous season last year even though they missed out on the FIVB Grand Prix.
A solid display in Tokyo, Japan saw them pick up their first FIVB World Grand Champions cup on their debut, beating Brazil in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-21) along the way.
Elsewhere, the USA have decided to put last year’s disappointing finish of ninth behind them by taking part in a number of early training sessions, as well as a brief tour to China at the end of January and beginning of February.
However, the tour featured a number of young players who were duly beaten by local side Evergrande 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-19.)
Despite the set-back some of USA’s other players have been showing good signs in their domestic leagues across the world.
Logan Tom, a member of the 2001 Grand Prix gold winning squad, has been showing promising signs with her club side Asystel Volley Novara in Italy’s Findomestic Cup Volley Series A1, scoring four aces in a match against MC Carnaghi Villa Cortese during February.
Additionally, a number of other players from different countries have been keen to show they are at the top of their game.
Puerto Rico's Sarai Alvarez has proven she is on top form ahead of the competition having scored the most points so far in the Puerto Rican Women’s League with a total of 187 for her side Mayaguez.
Fans who can’t wait until the beginning of the tournament will be able to get a sneak preview of some of the teams at the Montreux Volley Masters from June 8-13 in Montreux, Switzerland.
FIVB World Grand Prix 2009 bronze medalists Germany as well as USA will be taking part alongside Russia, Japan, China, Cuba, Netherlands and Poland in what will be a fascinating competition.