Verona, Italy, June 12th 2009 - FIVB President Jizhong Wei attended the Opening Day of the 2009 World League and watched as Italy eased past China in the first match of the series at the Palaolimpia.
The decisive 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-16) win confirmed the quality of Andrea Anastasi's side, which prepared for the tournament with a training camp in Mantova. While China were not at their best, the Azzurri nevertheless offered a very positive performance in front an enthusiastic home crowd.
Italy immediately took the lead on good pressure and receiving errors by China. The home team led 8-7 at the first technical timeout, before Zhou Jianan's team started to buckle under the pressure and soon found themselves five points adrift of the Azzuri with a service ace from Cristian Savani, who also made an outstanding contribution with his defensive skills.
The Italian team went on to close the first set 25-16 in 23 minutes.
China attempted to stage a comeback in the second frame, but Italy, after a couple of unforced errors, reached the first TTO at 8-6 after a couple of very effective attacks by Gavotto.
Key to the proceedings were the subpar receiving skills of China, with Mauro Gavotto, Glacomo Sintini and Matteo Martino picking holes in the Chinese defense, leaving the visitors 9 points behind by the second TTO.
The Italians showed China no mercy and, after scoring 12 points in a row, cruised to a 25-12 win.
The song remained the same in the third set, with a timid China bowing out to the superior Italians 25-12 after a poor serve from Cui Janjung.