Tokyo, Japan March 27, 2017 – Held in Tokyo, the draw for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup matched up Olympic champions China and world champions USA on the first day of the women’s competition.
The 2017 World Grand Champions Cup is the seventh edition of the FIVB’s quadrennial event for men’s and women’s national teams and the final highlight of the FIVB’s 2017 volleyball calendar.
“It is a great pleasure to host the 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Japan,” Japan Volleyball Association Vice-President Masakazu Shimizu said, as he welcomed the audience to the draw. “We are sure that the 12 participating teams will have a warm welcome from host cities Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.”
“We believe that all of the teams are worthy to compete for the 2017 title,” he added. “For us, this will be the first big tournament on the Road to Tokyo 2020. We are looking forward to giving you another great tournament and we hope that new stars will emerge from the tournament in September.”
FIVB Development Commission member Ramon Suzara conducted the drawing of lots in the presence of key Japanese volleyball officials, media, and members of Japan men’s and women’s national teams.
A total of six countries per gender were drawn in the single round robin men’s and women’s tournaments of the World Grand Champions Cup.
In the women’s draw, Russia were the first team drawn, followed by hosts Japan, United States, China, Korea and defending champions Brazil.
The opening day will highlight the rivalries among women’s teams, with intense match-ups between Russia and Brazil, Japan and Korea, and USA and China on September 5.
“We will face Korea on the opening day, just like in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” Yuki Ishii said. “We were beaten at that time, so I hope we can avenge our loss to Korea.”
“We want to be the top Asian team, so this match against Korea on the first day and China on the last day will be very important,” Haruyo Shimamura said.
The women’s matches will be played on September 5 and 6 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and will resume on September 8 until September 10 at the Nippongaishi Hall in Nagoya.
In the men’s draw, Japan were the first team drawn, followed by France, Italy, Iran, Brazil and the United States.
The men’s tournament will also have exciting matches. Hosts Japan will face USA, France will meet Brazil, and Italy will play Iran on the opening day on September 12.
“The world’s top teams will be in the tournament, so this will be very tough for us, like the Olympic Games,” Japan player Masahiro Yanagida said. “I hope we can prepare well for September.”
“If I participate in the tournament, it will be my first time to be in such a big event,” said new middle blocker Ryota Denda. “We will compete with our Asian rivals Iran, which have one of the best middle blockers Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi. It will be a great experience for me.”
The men’s matches will be held at Nippongaishi Hall on September 12 and 13 and at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium from September 15 to 17.
Both the men’s and women’s teams of South American powerhouse Brazil have the most number of victories in the history of the tournament. Brazil dominated in the sixth edition, winning both the men’s and women’s tournaments in 2013.