The Women’s World Championship in Japan Will Be an “Unforgettable Event”
The 2018 Women’s World Championship will be the 18th edition of the competition, which was first played in 1952 in Moscow, in what was then the Soviet Union.
Japan has hosted many high-profile competitions in the past – the FIVB Volleyball World League, FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cups, FIVB Volleyball World Cups, Men’s and Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments. In 2018, Japan will have an unprecedented fifth-time hosting of the FIVB’s premier volleyball event – the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, which will take place from September 29 to October 20.
Italy was the 11th country to host the Women’s World Championships. The nations who have previously hosted the competition are; Japan (four times), the Soviet Union (three times), Brazil (twice), France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Peru, Czechoslovakia, China and Germany. Italy celebrated their only triumph in the tournament at the 2002 edition in Germany with Marco Bonitta at the helm. He has returned as coach once again with the hosts hoping to repeat that success.
The rise in standards was evident in the lead-up to the event: a record 127 countries took part in the qualifying process for the 2014 Women’s World Championship – a huge increase on the 101 teams that battled for a ticket to the 2010 finals. The spike in popularity has resulted in some big-name casualties including Poland, centred around star Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale, who surprisingly failed to qualify.
Russia are the most successful nation in the history of the Women’s World Championships. As both Russia and the Soviet Union they have won a total of seven titles. The country topped the podium at the last two tournaments in 2006 and 2010, while they took the crown in 1952, 1956, 1960, 1970 and 1990 as the Soviet Union. They are followed by Japan (1962, 1967, 1974) and Cuba (1978, 1994, 1998) with three titles, and China with two titles (1982, 1986). Olympic champions Brazil have never won the tournament. They took home silver in 2006 and 2010 following a historic 10th FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix title earlier this year and are no doubt hungry to end their drought in the competition.