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I'm happy and proud of my team: China captain


China coach Lang Ping watches her team against USA on Friday

 Sapporo, Japan, August 30, 2013 – USA’s three-year run as champions of the FIVB World Grand Prix ended in Sapporo on Friday as they suffered their third straight loss, beaten 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) by China at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. It was China’s third straight win in the Finals. China coach Lang Ping, who used to coach USA, praised her opponents.

China coach Lang Ping: I’m pretty sure I know the USA team very well. They have a lot of great players who aren’t at this tournament. They have brought young, talented players and they are doing a great job. Before the match, I told my players we need to get used to their speed. We haven’t played a fast team yet, so we had to make the adjustment on court and learn to make quick transitions. In the second set today, I emphasised to the players that they must concentrate on defence. Yesterday, we wasted a lot of game points

China captain Hui Ruoqi: The American players jump very high and have a very good block and yesterday we didn’t play so well at the beginning of the match. Today, we had a good start but after the first set we didn’t play so well. But we tried our best and finally were able to win the game, so I’m very happy and proud of my team.

China No. 21 Ma Yunwen: We have a lot of young players while USA have very high quality players and play very fast. In the second and third sets they gave us lots of pressure. We don’t have a superstar on our team so we played with teamwork and so I’m happy the team won.

USA coach Karch Kiraly: USA played a nice tournament to earn the right to be here in the Finals. It’s apparent that the teams here are the best in the world and have been able to play at a higher level as the tournament goes on and we haven’t been able to match their improvement. Congratulations to China; they’ve played a great tournament.

USA captain Kristin Hildebrand: First, congratulations to China. They’ve played a great tournament and played another great match today. I’m disappointed for the loss. We had chances in the third set and had a great lead but didn’t capitalise on it. We could have given ourselves a little more match to play, so it’s very disappointing. 

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