FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Unbeaten China under no pressure ahead of WGP Finals


Who is gonna end Lang Ping and her side's 15-game winning streak?

Sapporo, Japan, August 26, 2013 – Coming into the final round of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix as the top finisher and only unbeaten team in the preliminaries, the Chinese team guided by legendary coach Jenny Lang Ping was under no pressure facing the challenge from the best teams in the world.

 

“Despite the results we got in the preliminary round, we still have a lot to improve and work on,” said Lang Ping, who has led her side to 15 victories in a row including all nine matches in the World Grand Prix preliminary rounds since taking the helm of the national team again in April. “We are very happy to make the final round and it will be a great opportunity to learn from the best teams in the world. Brazil, USA and Japan won the gold, silver and bronze medal at the London Olympic Games while Serbia and Italy are very strong teams from Europe. We are under no pressure at all. We’ll just try our best and see what happens.”

 

As China is preparing for its second encounter in two weeks with European Champions Serbia on the first day of the final round on Wednesday, Brazil will meet the United States for the third time after the final of the London Olympic Games and the preliminary round, where the Brazilian women won through 3-1 both times.

 

“Every time it’s difficult to play against them, we need high concentration, we need to serve well and the relation between the blocking and defense has to be perfect to try to stop them. But we have to play and we have to enjoy the game,” said Brazil head coach Jose Guimaraes, who coached his side to consecutive Olympic titles in Beijing and London.

 

Is the Brazilian team able to snap the three-time title winning streak of the USA team? “I don’t know. It’s important to play well against every team at this moment.”

 

The experience of the World Grand Prix final round will be very important for the Brazilian team in its build up to the Rio De Janeiro Games in 2016, according to Guimaraes. “There were 20 teams playing in the preliminary rounds this year and it’s difficult to qualify for the final round. I am happy we qualified and it’s very important for the future of our team,” he added. “It’s important to play against the best teams in the world to grow up and learn. We have a lot of young players and they need this kind of experience. It’s important for them because we have to plan for Rio.”

 

Italy head coach Marco Mencarelli has put his eyes on the European Championships. “For our team it is a perfect opportunity to play in the final six to improve our game and prepare for the European Championships,” said Mencarelli. “We are a young team with a lot of young players and we need the experience of playing against high level teams around the world.”

 

“We will have three years to work and improve. We hope this group of players will be in Rio in 2016 and we hope for the best results,” he added.

 

Italy will take on the host Japan on the first day of the final round on Wednesday.

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