2017 Preview: Japan preparing for Women’s Club World Championship in Kobe
Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay in central Japan, will welcome the top women's club teams in the world from May 8 to 14.
“I look forward to seeing the Women’s Club World Championship take place in Japan for the first time. Japan has hosted many great volleyball events in the past and the 2017 Women’s Club World Championship will be another FIVB event that is sure to be popular with fans in Japan, who will get a chance to see the best club teams and players in the world,” said FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. “Kobe will contribute to the growth of volleyball worldwide and help the FIVB in its vision to make volleyball the number one family sport entertainment in the world.”
Japan follows Brazil (1991, 1994), Italy (1992), Qatar (2010, 2011, 2012), Switzerland (2013, 2014, 2015), and the Philippines (2016) as the host country of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
Japan Volleyball Association (JVA) President Kenji Kimura said he was looking forward to a busy year of volleyball with the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship in Kobe and the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup also in Japan in September.
“I believe that the development of club volleyball is necessary to improve the level of the national teams too. Therefore, I hope a lot of Japanese volleyball players will be inspired and motivated by the experience of hosting this great tournament in our country,” said Kimura.
The 2017 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship will be a historic event for Japanese club volleyball, as Japan will field two sides in the most prestigious tournament in club volleyball.
Besides hosts Hisamitsu Springs Kobe, compatriots NEC Red Rockets will also get to play for the most coveted trophy in club volleyball. The Kawasaki-based side booked their ticket after claiming the trophy at the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Women’s Club Championship in Manila.
Hisamitsu Springs Kobe and NEC Red Rockets will be joined by a team from Europe, another from South America and four wild cards.
Eight teams battled it out in October 2016 as the Women's Club World Championship took place in the Philippines for the first time. On their way to the final, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul and Pomi Casalmaggiore from Italy both won 3-2 against Brazilian favourites and South America champions Rexona-Sesc Rio in Pool A. Hosts PSL-F2 Logistics Manila failed to make it to the semifinals – as did the other Asian teams in Pool B, Asian club champions Bangkok Glass and Hisamitsu Springs. European sides Vakifbank Istanbul and Volero Zurich progressed to the semifinals. There were no fewer than five five-set matches in all, illustrating the consistently high level of play at the event.
Istanbul is the most successful city in the competition, while Turkey is the most successful country in the history of the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship with four wins (two for Eczacibasi and one each for VakifBank Istanbul and Fenerbahce). Brazil’s club teams have three titles to their name, with Italy, Azerbaijan and Russia each claiming one title. Asian club teams are still looking forward to their first win, which could come in Kobe in 2017.
FIVB Women’s Club World Championship winners:
1991 – Sadia Sao Paulo (BRA)
1992 – Teodora Ravenna (ITA)
1994 - Leite Moça Sorocaba (BRA)
2010 – Fenerbahce Istanbul (TUR)
2011 – Rabita Baku (AZE)
2012 – Osasco (BRA)
2013 – Vakifbank Istanbul (TUR)
2014 – Dinamo Kazan (RUS)
2015 – Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul (TUR)
2016 – Eczacibasi VitrA istanbul (TUR)
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