Africa to host World Grand Prix

By elvince joshua
Jan 03, 2022
  • Kenya plays at last year\'s Grand Prix. Algeria will host one leg of the event, the first time the competition will be played in Africa. (Photo Courtesy FIVB)

One of the legs of the World Grand Prix volleyball will be held in Africa for the first time since 1993 when the women's premier even serves off in June.

The honor goes to Algeria who will host one of the legs with the others being hosted by Kazakhstan, Mexico and Peru all who made their debut last year. After the Pool matches, the focus will turn to Australia for the final scheduled from July 10-12.

Kenya will be one of the teams competing in Algeria in Pool three which also has Colombia who will be competing for the first time in an FIVB competition.

Other teams are Kazakhstan, Mexico, Cuba, Peru in addition to Kenya and Algeria who will be joined by Australia between July 10-12 in the final group phase.  

The newly-promoted Croatia will also host one of the pools on the opening weekend of Group 2 from July 3 – 5. They will welcome Czech Republic, who also come up from Group three, as well as Argentina and 2014 Group two runners-up the Netherlands.

Kenya will be participating in the Grand Prix for the second time after making their debut last year when David Lunga’aho led the country to their first International win outside the country. Kenya beat Algeria and Mexico in the first and second round staged in Mexico and Switzerland.

Puerto Rico will provide the backdrop for the other pool with Canada and Poland joining them alongside newcomers Bulgaria. The action will then turn to Argentina and Bulgaria the following week before Poland hosts the Finals from July 31 – August 2, hoping to draw on some of the magic of the home crowd that helped guide the men’s side to the 2014 World Championship.

Split in three pools

Group one will begin on July 3 as title-holders Brazil take on 2014 silver medallists Japan in their first match in Bangkok. The pool round matches will continue until July 18, with the twelve teams in Group one split into three different pools each weekend.

Week one will see Thailand welcome Brazil, Serbia and Japan in Pool A. China host Pool B which includes Russia, Korea and Germany while Turkey will take on USA, Italy and Belgium in front of their home fans in Pool C.

In Week two, which is scheduled to take place from July 10-12, reigning champions Brazil will be grouped with Belgium, Germany and Thailand in Pool D. Pool E will include China, Japan, Korea and Italy. Group F will see Turkey take on USA, Russia and Serbia.

In the third week of pool action, with matches from July 16-18, Pool G will feature Brazil, Russia, Italy and Belgium. Pool H will contain China, USA, Japan and Thailand. Finally, Pool I will see Turkey play Serbia, Korea and Germany.

The top group is expected to be a tightly contested one, with four former winners and seven medallists in total vying for a ticket to Omaha. Defending champions, United States of America (USA) will host the finals in Omaha, the first time the World’s premier women’s final games will be held outside Asia and Europe.

This year’s games will retain the same format of a 28-nations competition which will serve off on June 26 in a six-week preliminary round.