Bangkok, Thailand, July 3, 2017 – Thailand, the host nation for the last year’s FIVB World Grand Prix Finals, has confirmed its readiness to host the 2017 World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Pool H encounters which include Turkey, Italy and Dominican Republic from July 21 to 23 at the Hua Mark Indoor Stadium, Bangkok.
“All is set for the World Grand Prix, one of the most-watched volleyball competitions in Thailand. We are ready for hosting the elite Pool H competition, thanks largely to an excellent coordination and generous supports from our sponsors ThaiBeverage and broadcast TV Channel 3,” said Mr Somporn Chaibangyang, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, during the press conference on the country’s preparation for the annual women’s international tournament.
“With the same standard as we made when we hosted the Finals last year, I think we have already raised our benchmarks and let’s hope for the best that everything will go smoothly as planned this time. This is just because it’s the challenges of group work and we Thailand always come up with excellent coordination as we are working as a team. In terms of our players, we have to admit that our team will face uphill tasks against much stronger rivals. However, I’m convinced that our players and all staff coaches will do their best to make the country proud,” he added.
In terms of the competition, AVC Secretary-General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert, himself the TVA Honorary President, informed the Thailand national team players, distinguished guests and a big crowd of local medias at the meeting how important are this year’s World Grand Prix and the next month’s Asian Senior Women’s Championship in the Philippines.
“The FIVB World Grand Prix will be the first tournament of the year which every team will have a chance to collect world ranking points, while the Asian meet in the Philippines will also play a vital role in our eligibility in our participation in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament and the International Olympic Qualification Tournament, where 12 teams with the world’s best rankings will receive the green light to compete,” Shanrit said.
“Next year, it has already been confirmed that Thailand remain a team with eligibility to contest the FIVB World Grand Prix, in which the FIVB Rules and Regulations will be changed for the brand-new New Volleyball League Women. A total of 16 teams will contest five weeks in Group 1, with teams finishing 13-16 being relegated to Group 2 the following year. Therefore, to remain in Group 1, we have to maintain our superb form and play our best in every match despite facing much stronger rivals,” he added.
ThaiBev Executive Director Mr Surapol Utintu said, “We are very proud to see our national women’s volleyball team compete in the world-class tournament like the World Grand Prix. That means our team still have great potentials. As the main sponsors, we don’t expect to see only our senior women’s volleyball team fulfil in international tournaments, but we also aim to promote Thai youngsters to spend their free time productively.”
BEC (TV Channel 3) Deputy Managing Director Mr Surin Krittayapongphan, said that the volleyball fever has gripped Thailand since the Thailand national women’s team have made their mark in major international competitions including the World Grand Prix and the Asian Senior Championship.
“As the host broadcaster, our TV Channel 3 will televise live not only the Thai matches, but also the other matches from the Preliminary Round to the Finals, 79 matches in total. I hope the Thai fans will enjoy watching the live matches broadcasted only on TV Channel 3,” he said.
The Hua Mark Indoor Stadium will serve as the battle ground of the FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Pool H clash from July 21 to 23. The 6,000 capacity arena, although this can be expanded to 8,000 if necessary, hosts the World Grand Prix for a fifth consecutive year after welcoming the Preliminary Round matches from 2013 to 2015 and the Finals last year.
Four teams will test their mettle in the Pool H encounters in Bangkok, Thailand. They are Turkey, Italy, Dominican Republic and hosts Thailand.
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