Bulgaria, China, Cuba and the Netherlands ready to battle for glory in Macau
President of the Organizing Committee, Mr. José Tavares, extended his warmest welcome to the teams and officials and thanked FIVB for their continuous trust in Macau to stage this prestigious competition, during a press conference Thursday. He also expressed his confidence that volleyball fans worldwide will witness some wonderful matches in the next few days.
The head coaches and captains of the four teams participating in the Macau events then shared their thoughts and expectation for the Macau leg and the tournament.
Bulgaria’s coach Marcello Abbondanza: “It is a great pleasure for my team and I to be in Macau. This is the first time the Bulgaria team competes in the Grand Prix, we want to play good volleyball to honour this opportunity.”
Bulgaria’s Captain Strashimira Filipova: “We are delighted to be here to participate in the FIVB World Grand Prix, we have worked very hard last year to arrive here. For our team, this is the first time to compete in the tournament; we hope to play good volleyball and to enjoy the experience.”
Cuba’s coach Juan Rodriguez: “I am happy to be in Macau, we shall do our upmost to play against the other teams and to give our best performance to the people of Macau.”
Cuba’s Captain Daymara Lescay: “To echo what the coach just said, we shall play the best we can and we shall fight to the very end. We are happy and honoured to be here.”
The Netherlands’ coach Gido Vermeulen: ‘’We are honoured to be back in the Grand Prix after the absence of one year. I want to thank the Macau organizing committee for their excellent organization, we are very happy to be here. We are also here this year with a new team and we shall play the best we can.”
The Netherlands’ Captain Maret Grothues: “It is a great experience for our team to play in the Grand Prix. We are very honoured to be here in Macau and we look forward to play good matches in the tournament.”
China’s coach Lang Ping: “I am delighted to return once again and to compete in Macau. The line up of the China team this year includes four Olympic players and eight newcomers. Our expectation is for the new players to gain experience from the competition and to play some excellent matches with outstanding teams in the tournament.”
China’s Captain Zhang Lei: “Thank you to everyone in Macau for their support. In the tournament, we hope to bring out our best from the training we had and to demonstrate the style of play and form of the China team and to play some excellent matches.”
During the media session, Zhang Lei also commented on her first year as captain, expressing that she is grateful for the trust the coach and feels the responsibilities that come with the new role. The experienced players will lead the team by example and to play and bring out the best form of China, she said.
The first round of matches in Macau starts with Cuba v the Netherlands at 17.00 and China v Bulgaria at 20.30.