PRESS RELEASE 24.02.2004


Top honours for Chinese women's head coach

Beijing, China, February 22, 2004 - The head coach of the Chinese Women's Volleyball team Chen Zhonghe has been selected as one of China's 10 Inspirational Persons of the Year in 2003 in an annual campaign organized by China Central Television to select people who have inspired the country and moved its people during the year.

The 10 people up for the award are selected from various walks of life, some of them well-known, others less famous. But what they have done must be an inspiration to China and its people.

Zhonghe led the national women's team to an eye-catching victory at the 2003 World Cup in Japan, which completed a remarkable year for the Chinese women where they had already collected the 2003 World Grand Prix title. 2003 also marked the completion of a triple crown for the Chinese women, which has seen them win three major Volleyball tournaments, namely the World Cup (2003), the World Championship (1986) and the Olympics, since 1984, when China claimed gold at Los Angeles.

The national women's Volleyball team is widely acclaimed as a source of great sporting pride amongst ordinary Chinese people and Zhonghe has become renowned for his perseverance, working his way up slowly through the coaching ranks since starting his career as an assistant coach 22 years ago.