Brazil Downs Japan For Title
Reigning Olympic champions Brazil swept the previously unbeaten Japanese team 3-0 in a title showdown Sunday evening to win the trophy of the FIVB World Grand Prix for a record tenth time.
Going into the last match as the leaders on the standings with 12 points, Japan needed to win only two sets to secure their first World Grand Prix title. However, the defending champions prevailed in three sets 25-15, 25-18, 27-25. The Brazilian women have now won one more title in the World Grand Prix than the Brazilian men have won in the World League.
Following an opening upset 3-2 loss to Turkey on Wednesday, Brazil bounced back with four consecutive straight set wins to be crowned again in the premier annual FIVB women’s volleyball tournament. The United States, the second most successful team in the World Grand Prix, have won the championships five times.
The Japanese women, who have played in all 22 editions of the tournament along with China, could be satisfied with the silver, their first podium finish in the World Grand Prix. Before the loss against Brazil, Japan have won eight matches in a row connecting the preliminary rounds and the Finals and it was their longest winning streak in the World Grand Prix.
Earlier on Sunday, Russia came from two sets down to beat China 3-2 (21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-13) for the bronze. It was their first World Grand Prix medal since a silver in 2009.
Turkey beat World Grand Prix Finals debutants Belgium 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20) in the other match of the last round to finish fourth ahead of China with seven points from five games. China settled for the fifth place on six points while the winless Belgians were at the bottom.