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Volleyball - 20. July 2011.

Teams descend on Peru for Women's Junior World Championship

Teams from all over the globe are converging on Peru to battle for the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championship title being contested in Lima and Trujillo from July 22 to 31.

The tournament’s 16-country field begins competition on July 22 with four pools of four countries playing a round-robin structure through July 24 in the first round. The top two teams in each pool advance to the top half of the bracket, while the bottom two teams in the first round pools fall into the bottom half of the second-round classification matches set for July 26 to 28. The second round will consist of four-team pools – two top half pools and two bottom half pools – playing another set of round robin. The semifinal round will take place on July 30, while the championship and final classification matches scheduled for July 31.

The Women’s Junior World Championship is being held in South America for the fourth time. Peru held the event 1989 in Lima and Trujillo, while Brazil hosted the event in 1993 (Brasilia) and the inaugural edition in 1977 (Sao Paulo).

Brazil and China will be competing in their 16th tournament, the only two countries to have competed in all previous editions. Brazil has reached the podium the most times with 10 medals in 15 previous events. China ranks second with nine medals at the event, including the gold medal in 1995.

Brazil has won six of the past 15 Championships, including four straight editions to begin the new century (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007). Overall, Brazil has reached the podium in six consecutive events. While Brazil’s junior team finished the last edition with a bronze medal, the players competing at this year’s edition captured the gold medal at the 2009 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship.

Korea, making its 13th appearance, won the first two editions in 1977 and 1981. Brazil (1987, 1989, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007), Cuba (1985 and 1993) and Russia (1997, 1999) are the only other countries to have won the event more than once. Other past gold medalist teams are China (1995), Germany (2009) and USSR (1991).

Germany, who won the most recent FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship in 2009, did not qualify for this year’s event. Germany defeated Dominican Republic in straight sets (28-26, 26-24, 25-16) in the final of the event two years ago.

Belgium, Serbia and Slovakia are making their first appearances in the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship. However, Serbia have made three appearances in the event under the flag of Serbia and Montenegro, while Slovakia had two appearances in the tournament under the Czechoslovakia flag.

At the younger FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship conducted two years ago that many of this year’s FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship participants competed in, Brazil took home the gold medal with a 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 25-17) victory over Serbia. Belgium claimed the bronze medal by defeating Turkey with its younger athletes.

Peru coach Natalia Malaga is the only female representing her country as coach at the tournament.

Based on the most recent FIVB Youth and Junior Women’s world rankings, Brazil is a ranked world No.1 ahead of the United States, Peru, Japan and Turkey. Dominican Republic, the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship runner-up, is ranked sixth, while 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games champions Belgium are tied for seventh with Germany.

Appearances and Medals at FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship

Belgium: 1st appearance
Brazil: 16th appearance; gold in 1987, 1989, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007; silver in 1991; 1995, 1991; bronze in 2009; 10 total medals
China: 16th appearance; gold in 1995; silver in 1977, 2003, 2007; bronze in 1985, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2005; 9 total medals
Cuba: 11th appearance; gold in 1985, 1993; silver in 1989; 3 total medals
Dominican Republic: 7th appearance; silver in 2009
Egypt: 3rd appearance; Best finish of 11th in 2005
Italy: 11th appearance; silver in 1997
Japan: 13th appearance; silver in 1985; bronze in 1977, 1981, 1989, 1991, 2007; 6 total medals
Korea: 13th appearance; gold in 1977, 1981; silver in 1987, 2001; bronze in 1993, 1999; 6 total medals
Peru: 9th appearance; silver in 1981
Poland: 8th appearance; bronze in 2003
Russia: 6th appearance (13th appearance including participation under USSR flag); gold in 1991 (as USSR), 1997, 1999; bronze in 1995; 3 total medals
Serbia: 1st appearance (4th appearance including participations under Serbia & Montenegro flag); silver in 2005
Slovakia: 1st appearance (3rd appearance including time as Czechoslovakia – best finish 6th in 1993)
Tunisia: 2nd appearance; Best finish of 13th in 1995
United States: 7th appearance; Best finish of 4th in 2007
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