Brazil will try to extend their dominance in the 25th edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix as they aim for their 12th title
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 5, 2017 – The 25th anniversary edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix starts Friday with a record-breaking 48 matches in the first week.
Team participation has increased from 28 to 32, allowing newcomers Cameroon, France, Hungary, Trinidad and Tobago a debut at the premier annual women’s tournament. Defending champions Brazil and coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes are on the chase for their 12th World Grand Prix title.
After crashing out of the quarterfinal stage in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil will meet Olympic runners-up Serbia in one of the standout duels of the first week. The Brazilians put in a sensational title-winning performance at the Montreux Volley Masters and in test match victories against Turkey. Belgium and hosts Turkey are also top contenders in Ankara in week 1.
The battle between Olympic champions China and world champions USA will take place in Kunshan. China will also host the Group 1 Finals from August 2 to 6 in Nanjing, where they will face the top five teams from the preliminary round.
China and Japan are the only two teams that have participated in all editions of the World Grand Prix, but the Chinese team have only won the tournament once so far, in 2003. USA have six titles, second only to Brazil, who have 11 titles.
“As always, the World Grand Prix is very important for us. The first weekend has some tough tests in store,” said USA coach Karch Kiraly about the opening weekend of the World Grand Prix, when his team will take on China, Russia and Italy.
The third host city in Group 1 in week 1 is Apeldoorn, which will host the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Japan. The four teams are really looking forward to the latest edition of the World Grand Prix.
In Group 2, Germany will be among the favourites after reaching the Montreux Volley Masters final. Louisa Lippmann will lead Germany as they face Korea, Kazakhstan and hosts Bulgaria in Ruse.
The remaining matches in Group 2 in week 1 will take place in South America. Argentina will host Canada, Croatia and Poland in Neuquen; while Peru will host Puerto Rico, Colombia and the Czech Republic in Chiclayo.
The Czech Republic will host the Group 2 Final Four tournament in Ostrava from July 29 to 30.
Meanwhile, the Group 3 matches on the opening weekend will feature a number of beginners in the competition. Cameroon will try to make their home advantage count in Yaounde as they take on Venezuela, Algeria and newcomers France. In Aguascalientes, hosts Mexico will play newcomers Hungary and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Australia, who will host the Group 3 Final Four from July 22 to 23.