China team captain Feng Kun and Head Coach Chen Zhonghe comment on their performance in the press conference
Italy Captain Eleonora Lo Bianco: Today, we have lost to China, which is a very strong team with outstanding players, especially the setter. We realized our shortcomings through this match. We have made many mistakes and we understand that we need to perform to 100% in order to win. We will correct today's mistakes for the upcoming matches. The referee's controversial judging in the fourth set did not affect our performance. Such things happen quite often.
Italy Head Coach Massimo Barbolini: I would like to thank my team for their excellent performance today. This match ended our record of winning 26 consecutive FIVB official games. This match against China points our way towards further improvement. What we concern most is the process, instead of the outcome.
If we have to face China again in the Olympic Games, it would be best for both to have it near the end of the competition. The teams from China and Japan, although both are Asians, have different styles and different kinds of players. China is much better in spiking and blocking than Japan.
China Captain Feng Kun: This tournament in Hong Kong is important for us since all the three opponent teams are strong. We have gained valuable experiences and realized our inadequacies. Our performance fluctuated and we encountered some difficult moments. The good thing is we overcame these difficulties with great teamwork. My condition is improving after recovering from injury but I am still not in my best condition. I do not think I am the best setter among all national teams. Eleonora Lo Bianco from Italy and Yoshie Takeshita from Japan are also great setters. To me, the standard that a player can perform in each game is more important.
China Head Coach Chen Zhonghe:
I would like to thank the team for their effort during difficult times today. They were able to perform to their standard, but still some opportunities were not seized well enough. Zhao Ruirui has missed volleyball matches for three years due to injury. This tournament gave her a chance to re-build confidence.
We are going to face many strong teams in the Olympics, including 6 to 7 teams which are of world standard. We have to strive very hard and the results will depend much on their performance in court.