PRESS RELEASE 28.03.2005


China Sets New and Higher Aims for Volleyball

Beijing, China, March 28, 2005 - In a bid to restore the bygone glory when China won five straight world title in the 1980ís, China Volleyball Association put forward ambitions plans and aims for the Chinese Volleyball players, including indoor and Beach Volleyball, in the next four years.

Xu Li, Executive Vice President of the Chinese Volleyball Association unfold the aims at a meeting of Chinese Volleyball leaders and coaches, which stipulated that in the next four years, the Chinese Women National team will try hard to win three major Volleyball tournaments, namely 2006 World Championship, 2007 World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The Chinese women team, which dominated the sport between 1981 and 1986, won two World Championship titles (1982 and 1986), the Olympic gold medal in Los Angles in 1984, and two World Cup titles (1981 and 1985). The team now are under immense pressure due to their tremendous victories in the past two years. The new Chinese team has already clinched the Crown of World Cup in 2003 and Olympic Gold in 2004 under the coaching of Head Coach Chen Zhenghe, which boosted Chinaís confidence greatly.

In addition to the three titles in store, the Chinese Women team are also demanded to finish first in all Asia tournaments in the next three years.

However, Xu Li, admitted that the task and challenges facing the Chinese Women team are huge and difficult to achieve, as there are many strong teams in the world.

Cuba has now a very young generation of players that are growing very quickly and they are the only team which defeated China in the 2004 Olympics. The American tem, coached by the great Long Ping , may show what they can do when they beat us in the past. Russia and Brazil are actually are on a par with China. So though we have been steadily improving since the team was reestablished in 2001 and have achieved World Cup and Olympic victories, we are under great pressures, and must keep clear-headed, making a sober estimate of our rivalsí capabilities. No team can be certain of victory. The competition facing us will be very tough and hard. Xu cautioned.

As for the Chinese men team, the aim set for them is to enter the top 12 in the 2006 World Championship, to finish the top eight in the 2007 World Cup and top 10 in the Beijing Olympic Games. The Chinese Menís National team has never qualified for the Olympic Games since 1988.

The level of Chinese beach volleyball is a bit low and has great gap with the strong teams in the world. The Chinese Volleyball Association wishes the women team enter the top eight and top 16 for the menís team in the 2008 Olympic Games.