After winning the last three titles in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, Brazil are aiming to set another record of becoming the first team to win the competition four times in a row.
The only other team to achieve this feat is Italy, who have won the title three times in a row in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Brazil followed with their own three-peat in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
In the latest edition of the World Championship, Brazil will be put to test against tough competitors Germany on the first match, Finland, Cuba, Korea and Tunisia in the succeeding matches in Pool B.
Meanwhile, London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Russia are also pegged as the top favourites, will also open the first match in Pool C against Canada. Although the Russians have not finished on top of the podium in the World Championship, they have managed to stay in close second to Brazil in 2002.
Canada, China, Egypt and Mexico complete the Pool C cast and vie to improve their records and move to the second round of the competition.
• Only Soviet Union have won more gold medals at the World Championships than Brazil and Italy – they have six.
• Brazil have won 25 of their last 29 World Championship matches.
• Germany have lost their last three matches at the World Championship in 2010, they had a longer losing streak in 2006 with five.
• Germany can lose four matches in a row by a 3-0 scoreline for the first time in history.
• Brazil have won all five matches against German teams – two against German Democratic Republic and three against unified Germany.
• Brazil have four of the five wins against Germany in straight sets, including the last three in 1994, 2006 and 2010.
• Finland make their return to the World Championship for the first time since 1982.
• Finland hope to win their opening match at the World Championship for the first time after six opening defeats at previous editions.
• Cuba have reached the semifinals in four of the last six World Championships.
• Cuba have won a silver medal in 1990, bronze in 1998 and silver in 2010.
• Cuba won the only match against Finland at the World Championship in straight sets in 1966.
• Cuba have defeated Finland in straight sets in four of the five matches at major tournaments.
• Korea’s best finish in their eight World Championship appearances was in fourth place in 1978.
• Korea’s have finished 17th in their last World Championship appearance in 2006.
• Tunisia have the most participations among African teams.
• Tunisia have won five and lost six of their five-setters at the World Championship.
• Tunisia and Korea have a draw in their World Championship matchups; Korea won 3-0 in 1974 and Tunisia took the second 3-2 in 2006.
• The 3-2 defeat was Korea’s only loss against an African team at the World Championship.
• Russia will participate in the World Championship for a record of 18 times, including their participation as the Soviet Union.
• Russia have lost two of the last three opening matches at the World Championship.
• Canada will make their 10th appearance in the World Championship.
• Canada’s best result is a ninth place finish in 1994.
• Russia and Canada have met twice at the World Championship; Russia won both encounters.
• The last time Russia and Canada met at a big event was in the Final Round of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World League.
• Mexico will make a back-to-back appearances at the World Championship; they have participated five times.
• Mexico’s best ranking was at 10th place on their debut in 1974.
• Bulgaria have won five medals in the World Championship.
• Bulgaria have one silver medal and four bronze medals.
• Bulgaria and Mexico have met twice at the World Championship; Bulgaria won both encounters.
• Bulgaria and Mexico have not met in in a major tournament in 36 years.
• China will take part for the 13th straight World Championship since 1994.
• China’s last victory was in 2006 against Egypt.
• Egypt will take part for the eighth straight time in the World Championship since 1998.• Egypt’s best result was in 13th place in 2010.
• China have the advantage over Egypt in the World Championship, they won all three previous encounters.
• The first two meetings were won in straight sets, the third one was won in five sets.