2011.8.5 Weekend Picks: FIVB World Grand Prix* First week qualifiers, Group C
* Busan Sajik Gymnasium, Busan
* Friday 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.
The international women’s volleyball competition comes to the city of Busan as 18th ranked Korea competes for the first time in two years.
The annual event, which first started in 1993, has a total purse of $1.74 million with the winner taking $200,000. Sixteen nations will be divided into four groups and will have qualification matches for three weeks. The finals, comprised of the top eight teams, will be played in Macau beginning Aug. 24.
Korea is in Group C this week and plays Germany today, followed by Japan and Brazil. Next week, the team will face Cuba, Argentina and Poland. In the third week, Korea will face Japan, Russia and Serbia.
Korea is led by outside hitter Kim Yeon-koung, who is supported by Hwang Youn-joo and Han Song-yi. Korea’s best performance came in 1997, when it came in third.