Almaty to Host Stage of Volleyball World Grand Prix

VolleyballFor the second year in a row, one of the stages of the prestigious World Grand Prix in women’s volleyball will be held in Almaty July 21-27.

This year’s event will also be held under a new format.

“This year, 20 teams were divided into three divisions according to the world rankings, and we got the third division,” said Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Kazakhstan Yermek Syrlybaev. “Winners of divisions will advance. The first, the strongest division,will be comprised of the eight strongest teams in the world. Six teams will play in the second and third divisions. The first round will be held in Almaty. [Our national team] will face off against the Czech Republic, Croatia and Australia. The second week will be played out in Prague. If our team will make it to the ‘Final Four,’ we will continue to play in Bulgaria, where the division champion will be determined. Only the winner gets the right to move to the next division,” he added.

Additionally, Kazakhstan will square off against the Czech Republic, Mexico and Algeria in Prague. Last year, when the tournament was held under different regulations, Kazakhstan had the opportunity to play against the strongest teams in the world. National teams from Brazil, Cuba and the Netherlands traveled to Almaty. Last year, Kazakhstan was ranked 17th in the FIVB,the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, World Grand Prix ratings.

In Soviet times, Kazakh volleyball players were part of the women’s national team of the USSR and became world champions and Olympic champions.

In 2005, the team for the first time travelled to Japan to play in the World Cup and won the silver medal of the 13th Asian Championship.

Currently, the Kazakh national women’s team is ranked 30th in FIVB standings.

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