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Cuban women face tough volleyball challenge
Several of the worlds top teams including Cuba will be among the 12 squads competing in the 2007 FIVB Women's World Cup Volleyball Tournament in Japan, which will award three tickets to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Brazil, which won its 15th South American title this year and runner-up Peru are among the islands rivals from November 2-16.

Another top team to be present in Japan is Italy, fresh off an undefeated sweep of the European tournament, including a straight set win over world champion Russia and a victory over a tough Serbian team that finished second. The Russians finished third and failed to qualify for the Japan World Cup. It was the first time that Italy had won the European event.

Cuba, winner of the North and Central American and Caribbean NORCECA tournament recently held in Canada, and runner up United States, will represent the region in Japan.

The host country, Thailand and South Korea are the Asian teams to play at the World Cup. China is already guaranteed a slot at the Olympics as host country. Kenya, the African champion and wildcard teams Poland and the Dominican Republic are the final competitors at the FIVB World Cup.

If the Cubans fail to obtain one of the three tickets to Bejing they will have another chance at the zonal tournament in Monterrey, Mexico in December.

Source: By Alfonso Nancianceno, Granma

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