Gone is the
time of the forever powerful Chinese women's side of
the 80s and 90s but this year's Grand Prix could
signal a return to the glory days.
Last year's fourth place finish at the World
Championship in Germany is a perfect stage for this
young Chinese women's volleyball team to continue its
impressive development during the 2003 season.
Laden with unbridled talent and youthful enthusiasm
this current crop of Chinese women have kept legendary
coach Chen Zhonghe well occupied as he tries to mould
his team into above all else, Olympic Gold medal
Since the disappointing 2000 Olympics result, where
China finished fifth, the current No 2 team in the
world behind Russia has focused on regenerating a core
of players who will take them back into medal
contention at Athens 2004.
decision is starting to bear fruit and after last
year's finish at the Worlds don't be surprised to see
China amongst calculations for the World Grand Prix.
The likes of captain Feng Kun, Chen Jin and Zhao
Ruirui are really starting to show their potential and
the typical characteristics of the Olympic and World
Championship winning Chinese teams of last century are
returning with a win-at-all-costs attitude starting to
Coach Zhonghe has a lot of talent in front of him but
the manner in the way he steers this side through the
World Grand Prix, where Japan, Korea and Thailand
await first up in pool play, will be riveting.