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20 Jun 2016
China’s 3-0 whitewash of Brazil is good omen for Rio 2016
Macau, China, June 19, 2016: China’s preparations for the women’s volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 are well on track as they beat all three opponents in the Macau leg of the annual FIVB World Grand Prix over the weekend. After opening with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Belgium at the Macau Forum on Friday, China followed up with a tense 3-2 defeat of Serbia on Saturday and a crushing 3-0 whitewash of Brazil in Sunday’s finale.
The home fans in a packed-out arena had plenty to cheer about after the last game, too, as China’s Zhu Ting was named Most Valuable Player and also collected the Galaxy Star Award. Her teammate, Zhang Changning, received three individual awards to cap a productive weekend for China. “It is very important to win these games because it builds our confidence for the Olympics,” said China’s head coach, Jenny Lang Ping.
“Our players are very young and it’s a good way to start. The Olympic Games will be more intense, and playing in Brazil is going to be a little bit different, so we need to prepare for everyone, and for everything.” China qualified for Rio by winning the FIVB World Cup in Japan last year, so bypassed the Asian and World qualification tournament from which Japan and Korea also booked a ticket to Brazil for the 12-team event.
Lang Ping, whose name drew louder cheers than any of her players when the teams were announced, due to her Hall of Fame career, added that she was very pleased with the blocking and serving of her team against Brazil, but that she was still working on various combinations of players to find exactly the right balance for the Olympics.
China will be bidding for a third Olympic gold after winning the title in 1984 and 2004 and will play USA, Serbia, Italy, Netherlands and Puerto Rico in Pool B. The top four teams after a round-robin will qualify for the quarter-finals and play one of the top four from Pool A, which is comprised of Brazil, Russia, Japan, Korea, Argentina and Cameroon.
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