a medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games when the 52-year-old
started her second spell in the post in April. Her predecessor Yu Juemin
had stepped down after their 3-2 loss to Japan in the quarterfinals in
London and while rivals for the post included another former Chinese
coach, Cai Bin and former New Zealand men’s team coach Jiang Jie,
China’s volleyball director Pan Zhichen was determined that Lang
became the chosen candidate.
I had a really tough time making my final decision,” said Lang.
I had said ‘No’ to Mr Pan a couple of times, but eventually I was
moved by his sincerity. More importantly, I have always been willing
to do something for the revitalisation of Chinese volleyball.
Among the former Chinese players who had won gold medals in
the 1980s, I am the only one active as a coach. The development of
Chinese volleyball, especially the development of the sport among
Chinese youngsters, needs the efforts from every volleyball worker
and I just want to get involved and do as much as I can.”
As a popular figure in Chinese sport Lang’s appointment was well
received by fans and local media. However, the man who appointed
her was at pains to emphasise that she alone was not enough to turn
around China’s fortunes on the court and that everyone involved
with the team would need to make a huge effort.
Lang’s a highly-rated coach and she is very professional and much
honoured,” Pan said. “Lang has been an icon and she’s incredible
both as a player and coach, but she’s not a saviour. It will be hard
for her to lift the entire team from the bottom to the top just by
herself.”
Lang’s appointment was held up as the former Olympic and world
champion felt duty bound to honour her contract at Chinese club
Guangdong Evergrande, whom she joined in 2009, but after
a meeting with the club’s hierarchy it was agreed that she could
perform both jobs for the next year.
With everything in place Lang can focus on her long-term goals
and gold at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games is one of
them. As a player she was part of the China team that won gold
at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and she also won World
Championship gold in 1982.
Before Rio though comes the FIVB World Grand Prix and the 2014
World Championship in Italy.
We will have different tasks and goals for every tournament and I
don’t think it’s necessary to go for the Championship every time,”
she said. “We will take one step each time to build up a great future
for our team.
I have confidence and determination to do the right thing every
day to get closer and closer to our objective, but at the same time
please give us a little more time and patience. We will work hard
together to make it happen in Rio de Janeiro.”
I have confidence and
determination to do the right
thing every day to get closer and
closer to our objective, but at the
same time please give us a little
more time and patience. We will
work hard together to make it
happen in Rio de Janeiro.
Olympic and World champion Jenny Lang Ping is leading China for a
second time
China’s women’s team are aiming to recover from a quarterfinal loss at
London 2012
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