Szakmary leads newcomers Hungary to World Grand Prix Group 3 title


Greta Szakmary (second from left) was a key performer for Hungary

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2017 - While Adenizia da Silva led title-holders Brazil to the Group 1 Finals, it was Greta Szakmary who was the star of this year’s FIVB World Grand Prix Group 3 Finals.

Playing with the number 1 on her back, Szakmary was also the number 1 in newcomer Hungary’s victory in Group 3 of the FIVB World Grand Prix. After the 25-year-old was the outstanding player in her team's semifinal scoring 29 points in the 3-2 victory over France, she was also a key player in her team's win in the final against hosts Australia. Szakmary contributed 21 points to the commanding 3-0 win and gifted Hungary the biggest success in the association’s history.

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After the victory, Szakmary treated herself to a sightseeing tour.

Hungary coach Alberto Salamoni said: “Szakmary is one of my top players, but I don’t want to forget all of the other players who kept this team working together. Their teamwork gave all the possibilities for our top players to be at their best in this match.”

But Szakmary stood out. With a success rate of 43.02 per cent, she finished at the top of the list of the best spikers in Group 3 by a clear margin. And with 129 points, she finished in second place in the top scorer statistics, behind Australia’s Rachel Rourke (135), who was also the best server. Meanwhile, Hungary's Edina Dobi topped the best blocker ranking in Group 3 with an average of 1.04 per set.

In FIVB World Grand Prix Group 1, title-holders and eleven-time record winners Brazil were the focus of the end of an exciting Preliminary Round. The team of successful coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes earned three wins in front of an enthusiastic home crowd to reach the Final Six in Nanjing, China (August 26).

A key player in the 3-1 win against world champions USA was Adenizia da Silvia, with five blocks. Adenizia also scored a total of 18 points, just one less that captain Natalia Pereira (19).

"I must congratulate our team as we reached our main goal here. Now we must focus on the next step in China, in order to conquer another trophy,” said Pereira after the match.

With an average of 1.09 per set, Adenizia da Silvia also topped the best blocker ranking in the Group 1 Preliminary Round. However, the top scorer of the Preliminary Round came from the team that finished first in the group. Serbia' Brankica Mihajlovic scored a total of 153 points, ahead of Italy’s Paula Ogechi Egonu (149).

Egonu was arguably the star of the Preliminary Round. She led the list of best spikers with a success rate of 49.80 per cent and the list of best servers with an average of 0.48 per set. And the best receiver also came from the Azzurri’s team: Monica de Gennaro achieved a sensational efficiency of 77.50 per cent.

In Group 2, Korea finished top of the Preliminary Round table, meaning that they head to the Final Four in Ostrava, Czech Republic as the favourites along with Germany. Thanks to one woman in particular: Kim Yeon Koung. With 147 points, she was the best scorer across all twelve teams, and also finished in second place behind Poland’s Malwina Smarzek (48.29) in the list of best spikers, with a success rate of 44.56 per cent.

Poland also made their mark on the individual statistics tables: Agnieszka Kakolewska was number 1 in the list of best blockers, Agata Witkowska even topped two rankings: best digger and best receiver. However, the best server came from the Korean team: Yeum Hye Seon achieved an average of 0.55 per set.


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