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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 11:05, December 04, 2006
Brazil defends men's volleyball world championship title
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World No. 1 Brazil defended the men's volleyball world championship title, beating Poland 3-0 in Tokyo on Sunday.

With the victory, Brazil finished a grand slam in men's volleyball, as they won the titles of 2002 World Championship, 2003 World Cup, 2004 Olympics and 2005 World Grand Championships Cup.

Brazil, who finished the 24-team tournament in Japan with only one loss, trounced Poland 25-12, 25-22, 25-17 in the final.

"I think my team has improved during the world championship. We got rhythm and saw the strength of the other teams, and the fighting spirit was building up." said Bernardo Rezende, head coach of Brazil.

"We came into the final rounds with a lot of energy. The team played like they have been playing in the last six years, and we had to show Poland, who have had a great tournament, we were still as hungry as we were in 2002." Rezende added.

Brazil started strongly against Poland, who have never entered the world championship final since 1984, jumping to a 6-1 lead in the opening set. The Brazilians pulled with 17-7 and easily finished the opener at 25-12.

Poland awaked in the second set as they took the lead from 6-3 to 20-18 with Lukasz Kadziewicz's spikes. But Brazil then geared up to a 3-1 run to level the game with 21-21 as Andre Heller had a brilliant block and Guimaraes Amaral contributed a kill behind the line.

Luiz da Silva Nascimento had three consecutive spikes at the right side of net and Amaral finished the set 25-22 for Brazil with a kill in the middle.

Poland led again in the third set at 6-5 but this was their last lead as Brazil answered with a 6-1 run to take the lead 11-7.

Leading by "Giba" Gilberto Godoy, Brazil totally crushed the Poland defense afterward as they launched a 9-2 run and ran smoothly to the final victory with 25-17.

"After the semi-final I thought Brazil played very hard, like an animal, all the time," said Giba. "It is the fire in the eyes and the will to win. That is the secret of the Brazil team."

Poland's headcoach Raul Lozano said he was happy on the silver medal, but didn't satisfied with the team's performance today.

"They (Brazil) showed they are the most powerful team in the world, the best team the world has ever seen. We did not play well today, and after the first set we lost our power." Lozano said.

"Of course I am very happy for second place but we did not play well in the final. We did not show our true level. Today we lost the game in our heads. We did not come to the game with the head to fight and win." he said.

Early in the day, Bulgaria beat Serbia and Montenegro 22-25, 25- 23, 25-23, 25-23 to win the bronze medal for the first time in 20 years.

Source: Xinhua

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