China Continues to Head the Standings as the Battle for the Important Fifth Place Heats Up

Volleyball—World Grand Prix 2016
By Bill Cox, Epoch Times
June 25, 2016 Updated: June 27, 2016

Teams in the Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 are now taking part in the final 3 days of action to complete their Pool matches before the start of the Finals in Bangkok starting on July 6.

In Group 1 (the top group) the 12 teams are split into 3 pools of 4 teams for each of 3 rounds. The groupings vary from round to round and the first two rounds were played earlier in June.

The makeup of the Pools for the final pools that started on June 24, and continues on June 25 and 26 are: China, USA, Netherlands and Germany (in Hong Kong); Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Brazil (in Ankara), and Japan, Serbia, Thailand and Russia (in Kyoto, Japan).

Up to the start of this final round of matches, the overall standings table showed China (17 points), Russia (16 points) , USA (15), Brazil (13), Netherlands (12), Turkey (9), Japan (7) and Italy and Serbia both on 5 points, with Thailand, Belgium and Germany taking up the bottom 3 places.

Only 5 teams plus the host country Thailand will progress to the Finals in Bangkok. Thailand was lying in 10th place.

The results of Friday’s matches (June 24) were Serbia beat Russia (3-2), Japan beat Thailand (3-0), USA Beat Germany 3-0), Brazil won Italy (3-1), China beat Netherlands (3-) and Belgium beat Turkey (3-1). The standings points after the first matches are China

Today’s matches (June 25) are USA vs Netherlands, China vs Germany, Russia play Thailand, Japan plays Serbia, Brazil play Belgium, Turkey play Italy.

From the results so far it would seem that China should win against Germany and stay top of the table, but USA (now lying 2nd in the standings) may have a more difficult match against a Netherlands, fighting to stay in 5th place. Tin their match against China yesterday Netherlands made some marvelous, crowd pleasing plays showing great tenacity,

In Japan, Russia should beat Thailand (3-0) and in Ankara and Brazil is expected to overcome Belgium, keeping Russia and Brazil well up the standings. The Serbia to Japan match in Japan, and Turkey against Italy in Ankara are both likely to be important in the fight for 5th place.

The fight for the 5th place is going to be intense. Netherlands has a tough match against USA today making their current 5th position vulnerable. Netherlands currently on 12 points will certainly come out with strong intent in this match. The other two matches important for the 5th place spot are Japan (11 points) vs Serbia (7 points) and Turkey (9 points) against Italy (7 points). Wins for Japan and Turkey would certainly make the fight for 5th place exciting going into the last set of matches on Sunday.