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2005 edition
 All the latest news from the 2004 Edition
Brazil claim fourth World Grand Prix title in stunning final
Reggio Calabria, Italy, August 1, 2004 – World number three Brazil claimed their fourth World Grand Prix title with an exhilarating 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19) win over world champions Italy in the final of the 2004 edition in Reggio Calabria, Italy. More Match Results Awarding Ceremony photos Tournament Photos Standings Previous Tournament Results Previous podiums

Best Player Awards
Best Scorer/Most Valuable Player
Logan Tom (USA)* Rankings
Best Spiker Yumilka Ruiz (CUB) Rankings
Best Blocker Manuela Leggeri (ITA) Rankings
Best Server Logan Tom (USA) Rankings
Best Setter Fernanda Venturini (BRA) Rankings
Best Libero Zhang Na (CHN)*
Fair Play Award Francesca Piccinini (ITA)
Most Popular Player Paola Cardullo (ITA)
* Award given to player from team who finished higher in team rankings
Brazilian class wraps up fourth Grand Prix crown
Reggio Calabria, Italy, August 1, 2004 – Skill and precision were the order of the day as Brazil outclassed Italy in a thrilling 2004 World Grand Prix final to claim their fourth title on Sunday with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19) in the PalaPentimele. More Spanish Statistics Photos Pic: Marianne Steinbrecher (BRA) spikes on her way to 23 points in the match
USA beat Cuba for bronze
Reggio Calabria, Italy, August 1, 2004 – Two-time champions USA repeated their 2003 performance of a World Grand Prix bronze medal with an efficient straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-16) victory over Cuba in the playoff for third and fourth on Sunday. More Statistics Photos Pic: Yumilka Ruiz (CUB) spikes against Keba Phipps and Heather Bown(USA)
Two stunning semifinals see Brazil & Italy through to final
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 31, 2004 – The 2004 World Grand Prix is set up for a dream final with the hosts Italy playing Brazil after both teams claimed incredible victories in Saturday’s semifinals at the Palapentimele in Reggio Calabria. More Spanish Pic: Zoila Barros (CUB) attacks against Sara Anzanello and Francesca Piccinini (ITA) during the second semifinal
Italy clinch dream final spot
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 31, 2004 – A passionate home crowd gave Italy the lift they needed to beat Cuba in a riveting four-set semifinal 3-1 (25-21, 26-28, 25-22, 27-25) and book a place in Sunday’s World Grand Prix final. More Statistics Photos

Brazil through to final with stunning win over USA
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 31, 2004 – Brazilian coach José Guimaraes celebrated his 50th birthday when the brilliance of Brazil proved too much for a courageous United States team as the South Americans booked their spot in the 2004 World Grand Prix final with an incredible five-set victory (25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 19-17) in the first semifinal on Saturday. More Statistics Photos
Defending champs finish Final Round in fifth
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 31, 2004 – Defending champions China, ranked number one in the world, overcame a marathon struggle with world number 11 Germany to claim fifth spot in the 2004 World Grand Prix after a come-from-behind 3-2 (25-15, 23-25, 30-32, 25-14, 16-14) win which lasted more than two hours. It was a surprise to see China playing off for fifth and sixth position but more of a surprise was the competition put up by their opponents Germany. More Statistics Photos
Semifinals confirmed – Brazil v USA, Cuba v Italy
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 30, 2004 – Two breathtaking victories from Brazil and Italy on Friday against Germany and USA respectively saw the world number three and four sides claim spots in the 2004 World Grand Prix final four to set up a magnificent semifinal showdown on Saturday. More Pic: Italy turned it on for their home fans by beating USA Final Round Info Match Schedule & Results Overall schedule Best Players Photos Standings

Italy beat USA to progress through to final phase ahead of China
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 30, 2004 – Needing a victory to reach the semifinals, Italy stormed to a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19) win over world number two USA to pip defending champions China for the fourth semifinal spot at the 2004 World Grand Prix. More Statistics Photos Pic: Captain Manuela Leggeri was inspirational for Italy

Brazil claim second semifinal spot in Pool B
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 30, 2004 – World number three Brazil fought hard to overcome Germany in the final Pool B match, sealing a spot with USA and Cuba in Saturday's semifinals of the World Grand Prix Final Round. More Statistics Photos Pic: Great defence from Brazil
Four teams aim for two semifinal spots
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 30, 2004 – A fascinating day of women’s Volleyball is in store at the 2004 World Grand Prix Final Round in the Palapentimele hall on Friday with four teams still in contention for the two remaining semifinal spots. Following Cuba’s two successive wins in Pool B on Wednesday and Thursday, Germany will play Brazil at 15:00 GMT to see who joins the Central Americans in the semifinals while USA take on Italy at 18:00 GMT in Pool A with Italy needing to beat USA to qualify with the Americans ahead of China. Pic: China captain Feng Kun and Logan Tom do battle as USA beat the defending champions on Thursday 3-0

Cuba & USA confirm semifinal spots on Day Two
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 29, 2004 – After another day of wonderful exchanges at the net, breathtaking defense and superb spiking in the Palapentimele hall, Cuba and USA both claimed semifinal places at the 2004 World Grand Prix Final Round after exhilarating straight sets win over Germany and China respectively on Thursday. More Spanish Pic: Cuba celebrate

Cuba charge into semifinals claiming second successive victory
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 29, 2004 – After beating Brazil on the opening day of the World Grand Prix Final Round, Cuba made it two wins from two games after beating Germany in straight sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-21) to claim the first semifinal spot in the six-team tournament. More Statistics Photos Pic: Judith Silvester (GER) attacks against Maria Tellez and Luaces Liana Mesa

Perfect start for USA with straight sets win over defending champs
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 29, 2004 – USA made a superb start to the World Grand Prix Final Round with a straight sets 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 victory over the defending champions China in the much awaited duel between the two top teams in the world rankings, to jump to the top of Pool A ahead of China and Italy. More Statistics Photos Pic: USA complete a superb win over China

Cuba and China big winners on first day
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 28, 2004 – The 2004 World Grand Prix Final Round got off to a super start on Wednesday for both Cuba and defending champions China as they recorded outstanding victories on the opening day in the Palapentimele hall in Reggio Calabria. More Spanish Pic: Zhang Yuehong (CHN) attacks aginst Francesca Piccinini and Manuela Leggeri (ITA)
Clinical China make great start to Final Round
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 28, 2004 – China took revenge for a defeat at the hands of Italy during the Preliminary Round one week ago to complete a clinical 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20) win over the hosts of the World Grand Prix Final Round in front of a passionate Italian crowd. More Statistics Photos Pic: China celebrate
Cuba charge to victory in Final Round opening match
Reggio Calabria, Italy, July 28, 2004 – Cuba reversed their earlier defeat to previously unbeaten Brazil in the Preliminary Round with a sensational come-from-behind 3-2 (20-25, 26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 15-12) victory in the opening match of the World Grand Prix Final Round in the Palapentimele Hall. More Statistics Photos Pic: Virna (BRA) finds the Cuban defence too much

July 28, 2004 – Big day arrives – opening day of Final Round begins Spanish
July 27, 2004 – Coaches countdown to crunch time Spanish
July 26, 2004 – Great anticipation ahead of Final Round Spanish
July 24, 2004 – Teams confirmed for Final Round Weekend Results
World Grand Prix "Sporting Highlight of the Year" - Rostock Minister President
Rostock, Germany, July 21, 2004 - The Rostock Minister President Harald Ringstorff called the 2004 Women’s World Volleyball Grand Prix “the sporting highlight of the year, not just for Rostock and the State of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern” on the occasion of the reception given by Rostock’s Lord Mayor. “We are proud to have been chosen for staging the event”, Ringstorff added. More
Pic: Germany's star captain Angelina Gruen (15) rejoined the German team on Thursday in time for the match against Thailand
World Grand Prix - Opening Press Conference - Germany
Rostock, Germany, July 21, 2004 - The third week of the World Grand Prix starts on Thursday with Germany hosting a fascinating showdown between Russia, USA and Thailand. This is what the coaches and captains had to say ahead of the tomorrow's action. More Pic: USA coach Toshiaki Yoshida during a timeout earlier in the competition

Hefei preparing for fantastic women's action
Hefei, China, July 19, 2004 - FIVB officials and four participating teams China, the Dominican Republic, Italy and Poland were warmly welcomed by the city of Hefei, the capital of Anhui province of China, on Monday for the third week of the World Grand Prix Preliminary Round, which runs from July 22-24. For three of the four participating teams, the premier annual event of the FIVB acts as last warm-up for Athens Olympics 2004. The Dominican Republic is to be in the Olympics for the first time. The girls have shown their skills and strength in previous matches and are expected to bring a fresh playing style of South America in this phase. More
Taiwan - What the coaches said
MIAOLI, Taiwan. July 8 2004 - China is the favorite to once again become World Grand Prix Champion and is also considered to have the inside track to take the gold medal in the next Olympic Games. More Spanish Pic: Chinese libero Na Zhang

Japan - What the coaches said
July 8, 2004 - On the eve of the 2004 FIVB World Grand Prix women's Volleyball tournament opening in Japan Friday, the head coaches of participating teams expressed hope their teams will finish the tournament with good results. Participating in the four-team round-robin tournament at Todoroki Arena in Kawasaki in the western suburbs of Tokyo will be Italy, Japan, Poland and Russia. The head coaches held a brief press conference after a technical meeting ahead of the opening of the tournament opening Friday. More Pic: (L to R) Head coaches Marco Bonitta (ITA), Shoichi Yanagimoto (JPN), Andrzej Niemczyk (POL), Nikolai Karpol (RUS)
Thailand - What the coaches said
BANGKOK, THAILAND (July 8) - Hosts Thailand on Thursday held a welcome party for all four participating teams comprising Cuba, USA, Korea and the home team. Aside from the party, the press interview to all four head coaches also took place at the same opportunity. Those coaches gave an excellent cooperation by joining in the press interview. After the activity, they received souvenirs from Thailand. More
Pic: (L to R) Head coaches Luils Blet Calderon(CUB), Toshiaki Yoshida (USA), Kim Cheol-Yong(THA), Natthapon Srisamutnak(KOR)
Dominican Republic, a highly motivated team for the Grand Prix
MIAOLI, Taiwan.- July 7 2004 -The Dominican Republic is the smallest country in this year's Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix and also in the Olympics, which says a lot about the motivation and deep desire of its players. That was the statement of Cristobal Marte, the Dominican’s Team Manager who also is its sponsor and biggest fan. More Spanish
Top class action guaranteed as women's premier event begins Friday with increased prize money
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 06, 2004 - The 2004 World Grand Prix will feature amazing prize money, new venues and an exciting playing format when it starts on Friday. A grand total of an unprecedented US$1.295 million in prize money is on offer for the premier women's Volleyball event with 12 of the best teams in the world competing for the honour of World Grand Prix champion. More Spanish French Pic: China with the winner's check at the 2003 World Grand Prix Schedule Competition Formula

Cuba looking for top shape in the Grand Prix
Cuba July 4 2004 - Cuba, the reigning Pan American Cup champion, is one of the three Norceca teams that will participate in this year World Grand Prix, the premier annual women competition of FIVB. The Cubans come from a spectacular performance in Tijuana and Mexicali during the Pan American Cup where they only conceded one set to USA during the match for the gold medal. More Spanish
Germany's last training camp/Grand Prix in Rostock on July 22-24
Frankfurt/Main, July 2, 2004 - The 2004 Women's World Grand Prix, as most important event of the International Volleyball Federation, FIVB, apart from the Olympic Games and World Championships, will serve Germany women's volleyball team and national coach Hee Wan Lee as a last test for the Olympic Games in Athens. More Pic: Germany celebrate during World Grand Prix 2003.
USA Women Depart Monday for World Grand Prix
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. July 02, 2004 - The world’s second-ranked USA women’s national Volleyball team departs for Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, July 5, for their second-biggest tournament of the year: the World Grand Prix. This year’s Grand Prix, the premier annual women’s competition that features many of the best teams in the world, will serve as the final pre-Olympic competition for Team USA before beginning play in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, on Aug. 14. More Spanish Pic: The World Grand Prix begins on July 7
Dominican Women’s team to train in France
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 25, 2004 - The Dominican Women’s national team travel to France on Wednesday to have combined training and friendly matches with the French squad at Montpelier. More Spanish
Top sides for China tournament
Beijing, China, May 2, 2004 - As part of their World Grand Prix and Olympic Games preparations, World Cup and World Grand Prix champions China will meet Cuba, Poland and Turkey in a four-nation women's volleyball tournament from May 20-23. More
: China's Feng Kun with the 2003 World GP trophy
Thailand looking for improved performance
March 22, 2004 - Having finished eighth and ninth in the last two World Grand Prix events, Thailand will be hoping for an improved performance in their third appearance in the competition when it gets underway on July 11. The emerging Volleyball nation will also have the privilege of hosting the opening phase of this premier tournament where 12 of the world’s top teams will battle it out for US$1 million in prize money. More
: Thailand are looking ahead to the 2004 World Grand Prix and hope to improve their performance on the last two years. More Pre-season Grand Prix news
Feng Kun gears up for the Olympics
February 11, 2004 - It’s been a long wait, both for Chinese volleyball fans and for Feng Kun. But on November15 last year, Feng, 25, captained China to their first Women’s Volleyball World Cup in 18 years. It was a moment Feng had dreamed of since she was a little girl. She was inspired by the Chinese women’s teams that dominated the sport, winning the World Cup in 1981 and ‘85, the World Championships in 1982 and ‘86, and taking Olympic gold in 1984. Download the full article Story courtesy of Beijing Today. Pic: Feng Kun sets for China at the 2003 World Cup.
Chinese women undergo intensive training for Olympics
February 05, 2004 - The Chinese national women's team will contest the 2004 World Grand Prix and the Athens Olympic Games with the same lineup from the victorious 2003 FIVB World Cup in Japan, announced the Chinese team head coach Chen Zhonghe recently. In addition to the 12 World Cup winners Chen has enlisted three new talents: attackers 15-year-old Wang Yimei (1.90m) and 19-year-old Yang Shuang (1.85m) and 20-year-old, 1.88m Wang Ting. More
Yanan Liu of China spikes at the 2003 World Grand Prix.