USA play Brazil on first day as World Grand Prix Finals schedule released
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 21, 2013 – A repeat of the 2012 Olympic Games final between Brazil and USA is the stand out encounter on the opening day of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Sapporo, Japan from August 28 to September 1, following the confirmation of the schedule on Wednesday.
The opening match of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals at 04:30 (GMT) (or 13:00 local time) sees Preliminary Round winners China, who were undefeated in pool play, take on European champions Serbia.
China and Serbia have met once before in the tournament during the third week of the Preliminary Round when China managed to beat Serbia for the first time in the World Grand Prix with a 3-2 win after two previous defeats.
Wednesday's opening match is a repeat of the 2011 World Grand Prix Finals pool play encounter, which Serbia won 3-2 on their way to an impressive third place finish in their debut appearance in the competition.
China, who won their only World Grand Prix title in 2013 but their last of eight medals in 2007 (silver), qualified in impressive style for the Finals with an unbeaten record from nine matches, amassing a total of 25 points to top the leader board and secure their ticket to Japan. Having won seven of their nine matches in the Preliminary Round, Serbia finished third with 23 points.
The third and last match of the first day at 10:10 (GMT) (or 19:10 local time) sees world No. 4 Italy, who finished fifth in the Preliminary Round standings with 21 points from seven wins and two defeats, play world No. 3 Japan, who also managed seven wins from their nine Preliminary Rounds matches.
All six teams will play each other once in pool play over five days before the table leaders will be crowned 2013 World Grand Prix champions.