Women's World Grand Champions Cup Live Streaming - Brazil's title defence faltering following Tokyo defeat
The Women's World Grand Champions Cup moves to Nagoya's Nippongaishi Hall on Friday following a two day stint in Tokyo where six of the top nations on the planet battling it for glory in one of volleyball's most prestigious competitions.
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Following victories in 2005 and 2013, the ladies of Brazil are the most successful team in the women's competition, while Olympic champions China, Russia, Cuba and Italy each have one title to their name.
And the South Americans will be determined to stand atop the podium come this weekend after their shock quarter-final defeat to eventual winners China at last year's Olympic Games on home soil.
“Together with the FIVB World Grand Prix, the World Grand Champions Cup is an important event for us,” said Brazilian coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes. Olympic bronze medallists and world No. 2 USA are strongly fancied to challenge Brazil and China for the title, the field rounded out by world number five and European champions Russia, hosts Japan and wildcard entry Korea.
However, it appears China are the team to beat following a stellar start to the tournament at at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium where they scored triumphs over USA (1-3) and Brazil (2-3). Bar a major upset from Russia, Japan or Korea, it would appear the Asian powerhouse is on it's way to victory.
China captain Zhu Ting admitted her side were fortunate to come out on top against Brazil (20-25, 12-25, 25-20, 25-23, 17-19) in their second outing of the seventh edition of the quadrennial event.
"The first four sets were played at a high level. In the fifth set, both teams played at the highest level and we were lucky to win that," she told the FIVB. "Brazil are a very great team but we managed to beat them because of everyone’s efforts not just mine. We came back from two match points down to win. We made mental adjustments in that set."
Korea are next up for the Chinese but it will surely be their clash with Russia that will determine their fate with Japan and Korea unlikely to unduly trouble their Asian neighbour.
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