The final of the 2018 World Volleyball Championships takes place in Italy on Sunday, September 30, and six teams are still in with a chance of lifting the trophy.Russia and Italy are favourites to reach the final, although United States, Brazil, Poland and Serbia will be eager to upset the odds.

Read on as we look at four interesting facts about the World Volleyball Championships.

1. Most successful countries

The 18 previous World Championship tournaments have been won by seven different national teams. Russia (as Soviet Union) have won six times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Championship winners are Brazil and Italy, with three titles each, Czech Republic (as Czechoslovakia) and Poland, with two each, and Germany (as East Germany) and United States, with one win each. Russia are priced at 2/1 at to win the tournament for a seventh time, with Italy (3/1), USA (4/1) and Brazil (11/2) next in the betting.

2. Best scoring players

Players from Canada and France have dominated the best scoring players chart, despite both nations exiting the tournament in the second round. Canada’s John Gordon Perrin is number one on the list with 149 points, followed by France’s Earvin Ngapeth on 136. Nicholas Hoag of Canada is third with 129, while Stephen Boyer from France rounds off the top four with 124 points.

3. Longest games

There have been some epic five set matches at this year’s tournament including the first round clash between France and Netherlands. At two hours 29 minutes this was the longest-lasting game, tying the all-time record from 2014 in the Iran versus USA match in Krakow. However, the time falls some way short of the world record for a single match of approximately 25 hours involving teams from Poland and Germany.

4. Attendances

Over 280,000 have watched this year’s tournament in venues based around Italy and Bulgaria. The second round clash between Italy and Russia attracted the biggest attendance, with 12,875 people packing into the Forum di Assago in Milan. The final figures are likely to fall short of the 586,887 who watched the 2014 Championships in Poland. That tally including a whopping 62,000 crowd for the hosts’ opening game against Serbia in the National Stadium in Warsaw.