Turkey and Russia meet in decider; debutants Belgium take on champions Brazil
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 21, 2014 - On Friday, Turkey and Russia meet for the third time in this season's World Grand Prix, each team winning one the two Preliminary Round matches between the two countries. Debutants Belgium take on Brazil, who have won 15 medals in 20 participations and rivals China and Japan meet in the third match.
Turkey and Russia met for the first time this season on August 3, when Turkey claimed a 3-2 win in Ankara. Neriman Ozsoy led the way for the host team, recording 26 points, 22 in attack. Russia avenged that defeat on August 16 with a 3-1 home win in Kaliningrad. This victory capped off a three-match winning streak for Russia, a run which propelled them into the Finals, leaving the United States and Germany in their wake.
The match between Belgium and Brazil will be the first ever encounter between the two teams in the World Grand Prix. Apart from the teams in the first edition in 1993, Belgium are the second debutants to qualify for the Finals after Serbia, who finished third in 2011.
The match between China and Japan is a meeting between the only two ever presents in the World Grand Prix. China and Japan have appeared in all of the competition's 22 seasons. The last meeting between these two teams was won by Japan. On August 17, Japan emerged victorious 3-1 in Macau.
• Turkey have started their Final Six campaign with a win and a defeat. They defeated reigning champions Brazil 3-2 before losing 3-0 to hosts Japan.
• The last time Turkey suffered back-to-back defeats in the Grand Prix, earlier this month, the second loss was inflicted by Russia.
• Russia have started the Final Six with a 3-1 defeat against Japan followed by a straight sets victory against Belgium.
• Russia have finished in the top three in the Grand Prix on 11 occasions (G3 S5 B3). Only Brazil have captured more medals in the competition (15).
• Belgium are making their World Grand Prix debut this season. Brazil have appeared in all but one (1997) of the competition's 22 seasons.
• This is Belgium's fourth straight Grand Prix match against former champions in this competition. They beat Netherlands in the Final Four decider and opened their Final Six campaign facing China and Russia.
• Belgium have lost their first two Final Six matches, to China and Russia.
• Brazil won their second match of the Final Six, defeating China in straight sets. Brazil had lost their opener against Turkey and the victory against China made them avoid back-to-back Grand Prix defeats for the first time since 2007.
• Brazil are in search of their 10th World Grand Prix crown. No other country has won more than five.
• China have lost three of their last four Grand Prix matches.
• China won the Grand Prix in 2003 and finished runners-up in 1993, 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2013 when they lost their final match against Brazil (3-0).
• China Suffered their 100th Grand Prix defeat against Brazil. Their opponents, Japan, have suffered most Grand Prix defeats (151).
• Japan finished outside the top 6 in the Preliminary Round (seventh place), but is the only team that has won its first two matches in the Final Six phase.
• Japan have won their last six Grand Prix matches, a streak that is one victory shy of the team record in the competition. Japan won seven in a row in 1994 and matched that achievement from 2012 to 2013.
The full statistics preview is available here.
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