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Historical Data Historical data on each team competition in the 2001 World Grand Champions Cup, including participation and final rankings from World Championships, Olympic Games, Word Cup, World League, World Grand Prix and World Grand Champions Cup

match schedule


Tue 13 Nov
13:00 KOR - USA
15:00 CHN - RUS 
19:00 JPN - BRA 

Wed 14 Nov

14:00 USA – CHN
16:00 BRA – RUS
19:00 JPN – KOR

Fri 16 Nov

14:00 RUS – USA
16:00 KOR – BRA
19:00 CHN – JPN

Sat 17 Nov

13:30 JPN – RUS
15:30 BRA – USA
18:30 KOR – CHN

Sun 18 Nov

13:00  RUS – KOR
15:00 CHN – BRA
18:00 USA – JPN



Tue 20 Nov

14:00 KOR – BRA
16:00 CUB – YUG
19:00 JPN – ARG

Wed 21 Nov

14:00 KOR – CUB
16:00 BRA – ARG
19:00 YUG – JPN

Fri 23 Nov

13:00 CUB – BRA
15:00 ARG – YUG
18:00 JPN – KOR

Sat 24 Nov

13:00 CUB – JPN
15:00 KOR – ARG
18:00  BRA – YUG

Sun 25 Nov

13:00  ARG – CUB
15:00 YUG – KOR
18:00 JPN – BRA

Dates and Venues

Shortcut to

Saitama and Fukuoka 

13 – 18 November

Dates and Venues


Nagoya and Tokyo

20 – 25 November, 2001


The Captains*

Japan celebrates

Yuka Sakurai, JPN


201cm Ekaterina Gomova

USA v Korea


USA Danielle Scott (for Robyn Ah Mow), 

BRA - Virna Dias

CHN - Feng Kun

KOR - Choi Kwang-Hee

RUS - Evguenia Artamonova

JPN - Kumamae Chikako 



World Grand Champions Cup


Tournament Wrap - Men and Women




Saitama, Japan, 13 November, 2001 – Nothing but the trophy of the 2001 Grand Champions Cup will satisfy Russia’s legendary coach Nikolai Karpol.

“Our goal is to win every title we compete for no matter what competition it is, or what competition format is used,” said Karpol at Monday evenings opening press conference.

Karpol has led the Russian women’s team for 18 years, since 1979, and has two Olympic gold medals and a World Championship title to his credit. He was also awarded Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1991.

The Russian team, which features almost the same lineup as the team that won the silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games last year, is the oldest and most experienced in a field full of new blood in the six-team, US$2 million event, which starts Tuesday.

Compared to the out-spoken, ambitious Russian, most of his counterparts were more reserved in stating their goals in the single round-robin tournament.

China, that opens the tournament against Russia, will use the tournament to further blood to its fresh squad.

“Most of our Olympians have left the national team after the Sydney Olympics. I’m looking forward to some good results from this vigorous squad,” said Chinese head coach Chen Zhonghe.

Sun Yue and Qiu Aihua, who formed the backbone of China’s attacking force in the Olympics, are playing in the Italian professional league. Chen believes the newly enrolled players, like Yang Hao, Zhang Jing and Zhao Ruirui are better than their predecessors.

“I cut the old members off the national team in order to give the youth more chances in international competitions. My goal is not for here and now, but for the future,” said Chen, who led the team to a Grand Prix second-placed finish and the Asian Cup title after he took the reigns earlier of the year.

With the Chinese focusing on exercising its future goal, another title favorite, the United States, seem to put up the best challenge to the defending champion Russia.

Japanese born USA head coach Toshiaki Yoshida led the Americans to a surprising surge-up this year when they won the Grand Prix and NORCECA Championship back-to-back after dozens of years drought of gold medals in tournaments.

“The year 2001 seems a good year to the U.S. team. I hope we can carry on and keep our pace throughout the future,” Yoshida said.  “We’ll do our best in the Grand Champions Cup.”

After two years service for the U.S. team as assistant coach, then head coach after the Sydney Games, Yoshida has successfully incorporated some Asian-style skills into the typically power-style of the Americans.

Danielle Scott, Player of the Tournament in the Grand Prix, said, “Usually we were block and hitting team, and now coach Yoshida help us to focus onto defense and back line attack. We’ve made a lot improvement on the defense and second-chance attacks.”

Brazil also has the ability to capture the title and US$300,000 first prize. But, even as the South American champions and Olympic bronze medallists, new head coach Marco Aurello Motta was not optimistic.

“We didn’t have any good results this year. This is only my first year with the team, so I hope we could do better and better gradually,” Motta said.

Japanese head coach Masahiro Yoshikawa was also cautious of predictions, particularly against Japan’s first opponent, Brazil.

“I’m not going to say what we could do in the tournament, but we will bring the best we have against Brazil,” he said.

Wild card South Korea was just happy to be at the year-ending event. “To play the tournament as a wild card is a honor to our team,” said head coach Kim Cheol-yong. “We had many changes in the squad and I hope we will get some good results here.”

Saitama, a small city at the northwest of Tokyo, will hold the first two rounds at its biggest stadium, the Saitama Super Arena, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Arena, which staged NFL and NBA matches after it was constructed last September, had the maximum capacity of 37,000 and had had a total of 1,700,000 spectators over a year.

Rest of the competitions will be held in Fukuoka on Friday 16 to Sunday 18, November.

The men’s event will start on next Tuesday, 20 November in Nagoya.  European and Olympic champion Yugoslavia is one of the six participants, together with Japan, South Korea, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. 


By Shan Lei, Xinhua News Agency



Saitama, Japan, 13 November, 2001 - Japan, China and Korea made Tuesday a Day of Asia as the trio pocketed as many stunning victories on the opening day of the 2001 World Grand Champions Cup.

It was the wild card Korea that was the star team of the day, as it produced the biggest upset by crushing the title favorite United States 3-1 at the opening match.

The promising sensation China took its revenge of the reigning champion Russia 3-1 in the following match, while Japan wrapped up the first-day matches by embarrassing the South American champion Brazil in straight sets in the Saitama Super Arena.

Korea's head coach Kim Cheol-yong was overwhelmed with happiness by his team’s defeat of the 2001 World Grand Prix champion. "I'm very happy to win the first match of this tournament. I formed the team only two weeks before and enrolled many young players.  I believe my players have gained confidence from this win," Kim saiD.

It was from the very beginning of the match that Korea set the pace that steered then to the 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 25-23) win.    

The Koreans managed to turn a series of errors of its rival into winning points as it scored 33 points on errors, compared to 17 from the U.S..

 "I'm proud of competing in the tournament as wild card," captain Choi Kwang-hee said.  "The whole team was confident that we could win the match, and it worked well."

American head coach, Japanese Yoshida Toshiaki, said his squad lacked their normal cohesiveness.

"Some of my players only joined the team on November 6 and 7, and one came straight back from the Italian league. We didn't have enough time to train together.

"We missed some big points down the stretch, and that was the worst thing in a match. The Korean team played really well," he added.

"Tomorrow we'll face another strong team in China. It will be very hard to win," Toshiaki said.

In the second match, China faced the imposing sight of Artamonova, Godina and 24-year-old 201cm Ekaterina Gomova - the tallest front line in the world of women’s volleyball averaging 196cm.

But even facing this Russian wall – and a squad with 186 world and Olympic Games match appearances under its belt, the fearless Chinese, that have not one world championship or Olympic Games appearance in its squad, played with the heart of a lion and way above their years to defeat the European Champions in one of the best matches of the year 3-1 (33-35, 25-21, 25-19, 27-25).

Russia, the Olympic silver medallist in Sydney last year, almost forced the match into a decisive fifth set as it rallied four points to tie it at 24-24 in the fourth.  But China maintained its composure to take the set, 27-25, and the game as consequence.

"We lost to Russia twice this year by 3-1 and 3-0 respectively, so it's so nice to beat them this time," said Chinese head coach Chen Zhonghe.

"My players did well on creating pressure on attack though we are much smaller than them. This is the reason why we could make a great win today," Chen added.

Russia's head coach Nikolai Karpol said he didn't know what happened on the attacks, which helped Russia take the first set.

"We didn't play well after the first set, and I cannot say what the problem is. We'll find out the reason afterwards," he said.

Japan led all the way from the start to the claim one of its biggest victories in the world level competitions when it beat-up Brazil completely on every aspect of the court.

Head coach Masahiro Yoshikawa said, "My team had one of the best games ever. The players had given their best and we got the key points on the right time, so we won the match."

Brazil's coach Marco Aurelio Motta described the loss as a disaster. "We didn't play as we usually do tonight as we missed a couple of servers and had a big problem on blocks. My players didn't play well.  They could not catch up with Japan's fast pace."

Neither team outside Asia could stand for another loss in the single round-robin tournament when the U.S. face China and Russia meets Brazil on Wednesday.  Japan will take on Korea in the evening. 


By Shan Lei, Xinhua News Agency