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Hosts China to rest captain Zhu Ting for VNL debut

 
Lang Ping discusses her team's objectives ahead of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League
Beilun, China, May 15, 2018 - Olympic champions China will kick off their FIVB Volleyball Nations League campaign Tuesday against the Dominican Republic without captain and star player Zhu Ting, confirmed head coach Lang Ping.

"Zhu just completed her season with Turkey's VakifBank on May 6th. It has been a very long and tough season. She must be tired though she came back to China and reported herself to the national team in Beilun," said Lang, who led the Chinese women's volleyball team to gold at the Rio Olympics.

The 23-year-old scored a team-high 15 points to help VakifBank Istanbul win over Romania's CSM Volleyball Alba Blaj 3-0 in the European Champions League final in Bucharest a week ago, after the Turkish team claimed the titles of local league and cup.

"She'll skip the first tournament, go for some medical checks, get some rest and maybe also pay a visit to her family since she's got a vacation of around 10 days," Lang said.

"I hope she can do some physical training during this period and we expect her comeback in two weeks. Well, it also depends upon her mental and physical status whether she'll be sent on court at that time," she added.

The hosts China come out of a month-long training camp in Beilun before heading for their opening game of the Volleyball Nations League.

"I feel honoured to be here again to participate in the Volleyball Nations League," said Lang at the pre-tournament press conference. "The VNL will last for six weeks. We'll try to improve the physical strength of our players, and to push their skills to a new level throughout the competitions as well as to test the squad's rookies."

"Also, we want to have a better understanding of the present women's volleyball world, to see how our opponents' techniques have improved and how their newcomers play on court during this event. Moreover, we want to learn something from the other three teams," she added.

China will play against Belgium, the Dominican Republic and South Korea in the May 15-17 event while 16 teams make their debuts in the competition around the world.


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