USA and Brazil will be among the favourites to win the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup Japan 2015
Tokyo, Japan, August 19, 2015 – The excitement in Japan is building. With the 12 teams having already arrived volleyball fans across the globe are counting down the days until the start of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup.
The tournament runs from August 22 until September 6 with two places on offer at the Rio de Janeiro 2016, Olympic Games. As hosts Brazil are already assured of a place and the 12 teams in Japan will be fighting hard to join them at the Maracanazinho Arena in Rio.
FIVB 2014 World champions and recently crowned FIVB World Grand Prix winners USA lead the way and they will meet China, the team they defeated in the World Championship final, in their pool.
World Grand Prix silver medallists Russia will also be in contention, as well as hosts Japan.
“Our goal is to win the World Cup,” said US attacker Kimberly Hill, MVP at the World Championship. “The most important thing is to qualify for the Olympics. The Olympics are always on our mind.”
China are aiming to go in fresh after their coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping rested her players throughout the World Grand Prix.
“They were exhausted and needed a break,” Lang Ping said. “The FIVB World Cup is the highlight this year.”
Russia meanwhile are on an upward trajectory after their silver medal performance at the World Grand Prix and while they are have won more World Championships than anyone else, they are yet to win an Olympic title since the end of the Soviet Union.
“The World Cup is the first chance to qualify for the Olympic Games,” Russia attacker Tatiana Kosheleva said. “If we can win a ticket to Rio now, then we will have more time to work on training and recovery before the Olympics.”
Cuba, Serbia, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Peru, Korea, Kenya and Algeria are the other eight teams that will compete in Japan in the six host cities – Tokyo, Sendai, Nagoya, Matsumoto, Okayama and Komaki.
Kenya are one of the fastest improving sides in recent years and while they will take on four-time winners Cuba, they are not short of confidence.
“I believe we made a statement at the FIVB World Grand Prix, when we won group 3 in Australia,” Kenya head coach David Lung'aho said. “Now we have moved up a notch and the challenge will be harder, but we have the skills and talent to weather the storm and win again.
“We will get good results. The last time we were in the World Cup in 2011, Kenya was viewed simply as participants to make up numbers, but it is different now because we are going there as competitors.”
Host nation Japan play in Pool A in Tokyo, where they are joined by the Dominican Republic, Russia, Argentina, Kenya and Cuba. USA and China are in Pool B along with Korea, Serbia, Peru and Algeria, with their matches taking place in Matsumoto.