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By Georgia Grimond, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Six international indoor volleyball teams are battling it out in the final rounds of the FIVB Mens World League competition today, Thursday July 16th, at the Maracanãzinho stadium in Tijuca, of Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone). The competition, which runs until Sunday, July 19th, is also serving as a test event for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Volleyball World League Finals, and Rio 2016 Test Event, France v Brazil, July 15th, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Murilo Endres of Brazil receives the ball in a match against France in the FIVB World League competition, photo courtesy of FIVB.

Today, Brazil’s volleyball team will take on rivals USA at 2:05 PM and Poland will play Italy at 4:05 PM. Brazil, having lost 3-1 to France yesterday, July 15th, will be looking to beat long-term rivals and current World League winners, USA. Following the group stages, successful teams will go through to the semi-final on Saturday, July 18th with finals taking place on Sunday, July 19th.

The International Volleyball Federation, or FIVB, is hosting the competition in conjunction with the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation. However, the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee is operating the competition venue – the courts, public spaces and entertainment, drugs testing and results technology – as a trial for next year’s Olympic games.

“The event is theirs (FIVB) and is the culmination of all the previous stages of the World League,” Luiz Augusto, general manager of the Maracanã complex which includes both the main, famous stadium and the smaller Maracanãzinho, told Rio 2016. “Therefore, the role of the committee is limited. Our aim is to make the most of the opportunity to train the 23 members of staff from six departments and 41 partners (who will work at the event), plus 35 volunteers who will undertake a detailed visit of the venue before the tournament.”

Forty-four test events will takes place across the city until May 2016, involving 7,000 athletes and 12,000 volunteers. Some will be open to the public. Tickets to see the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas which will take place from August 5th – 9th are available now.

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