Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales; The Dome and Exhibition Complex, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: October 1, 2000
Format: Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.
|Gold:||Serbia and Montenegro|
In the now standard format, 12 teams competed, separated into two pools of six, followed by elimination and medal/placement matches. The qualifying teams were selected as follows: host nation (Australia), World Cup (Russia, Cuba, Italy), Continental qualifiers (Egypt, Korea, United States, Brazil, Serbia & Montenegro), and qualifying tournaments (Argentina, Spain, Netherlands).
Italy was a heavy favorite, having won the last three World Championships and the European title in 1995 and 1999. But they had yet to win an Olympic gold medal. They swept thru Group B undefeated and won their quarter-final match over Australia. But in the semis, Serbia & Montenegro (Yugoslavia), runners-up at the 1998 Worlds, and bronze medalists at the 1999 Europeans, triumphed in straight sets, again denying Italy an Olympic gold medal. Serbia & Montenegro had struggled in the pools, finishing only third behind Italy and Russia, but they defeated Russia in straight sets in the final to win the gold medal. As in 1996, all the medalists came from the same pool, this time Group B.