Runners-up last time out – beating eventual bronze medallists Serbia in the last four before losing to Brazil in the final – it will be a very different Cuba side which will line up for a 14th World Championship appearance in Poland. With many of their stars from the 2010 campaign absent, a new crop of Cuba players will represent their country on the back of an impressive win in the World League Group 3 final in June and a Pan American Cup title in August.
Despite their standing as one of the most consistent nations in men’s volleyball, Cuba have yet to win a World Championship. They have twice finished in second place (1990, 2010) and have also taken the bronze medal on two occasions (1978, 1998).
Since that second-place finish in 1998, the Cubans have seen mostly top-eight finishes in the international arena, with the only blemishes coming via a narrow failure to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games and a 13th-place finish in the 2013 World League.
Five-time winners of the Pan American Games and former World Cup and World League champions, Cuba’s other successes on the world stage include a victory at the 2001 Grand Champions Cup and a 1976 Olympic Games bronze medal.