The FIVB have described the Group 2 Finals this weekend in Sydney as a major highlight in an iconic location.
The article goes on to say – “After a dramatic finale to the preliminary round, the 25th anniversary season of the FIVB World League is now set to experience its next major highlight: Sydney will host the Group 2 Finals on Friday and Saturday.
Hosts Australia, favourites France, Belgium and the Netherlands will go head to head for the final ticket to the Group 1 Finals, held in Florence from July 16-20. The Group 2 Finals winner will join hosts Italy, Olympic gold medalists and defending champions Russia, record winners Brazil, the USA and surprise package Iran, who have already qualified.
Even before the start of this year’s record-breaking FIVB Volleyball World League, FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° had warned fans to expect surprises in a competition “which has been redesigned to offer more challenges to the experienced teams and more opportunities for teams making their debut.” These words are the perfect preview to this weekend’s Group 2 finals, which are making their first appearance in this record-breaking season. FIVB World League debutants Belgium and the returning Australians (second appearance after 1999) will provide a stern test for the more-experienced teams from France (19 appearances) and the Netherlands (18th appearance).
The final round takes place at an iconic location – the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre. This area hosted the Olympic Games in 2000, and the final round of the FIVB World League is another major event at the venue. Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher said: “We cannot underestimate the significance of Australia competing in and hosting the World League Finals for the development and growth of the game in Australia. I would like to thank the FIVB for their support of Volleyball Australia in once again bringing international matches to our shores.”
Image courtesy of Volleyball Australia shows James Blunt playing at the Canberra round of the World League.