Chinese beach volleyball pair Li Jian and Chen Cheng answer fan questions
The fans witnessed their hometown stars excel on the sand, with a bronze medal by Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi, while having the opportunity to see more home teams on the sand than usual, as the host country.
To get to know the home stars, beach volleyball pair Li Jian and Chen Cheng sat down at Shanghai to answer fan questions, collected from FIVB fans on Facebook and Chinese social media sites Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.
Q1: You've been playing beach volleyball as a team for a few years now. Can you tell me how your partnership has grown over the years?
Cheng: It has been like 10 years since 2012 when we took part in the global competition. We had fights before, but gradually we cooperate with each other much better, and we understand each other only by eye contacting.
Li: It is kind of fate to be a partner, everyone has it's ambitious time and also everyone is going to be old. No matter what, I will cherish this best time.
Q2: Over the years, what has been your favorite moment, what stands out the most? What do you look forward to the most?
Cheng: Since the end of 2008, We have learned to make a concerted effort. And it's unforgettable experience. We are very united either on training or matches. On the court, we understand each other much better. So I feel it's that was the most unforgettable year. Moreover, we won the champion of the national games.
Q3: Can you tell us what you did to prepare for the Shanghai tournament?
Cheng: This time we are matched up against groups which are very strong, like Holland and the U.S. They are all the top volleyball players. We learn to improve ourselves by playing against them. The main objective of us on this match is to exercise and to improve ourselves.
Q4: We had a chance to meet and interview Xue Chen and Xia Xinye at the Fuzhou Open earlier this week. Are you friends with them?
Cheng: We're close and we like to have fun together. Since all of us are very easy-going, we would like to make some jokes with each other. And now, Xue Chen is the best Chinese female player. Xia Xin Yi has nickname of "Toto", she is interesting, often tells us jokes.
Q5: As Xue Chen and Xia Xinye are new partners and you have lots of experience being partners, would you like to share any advice?
Cheng: Xia Xin Yi is quite young now, after partner with Xue Chen, Xia will grow fastly by learning all the experience from her. I can say, if they could work together for another 3-4 years, Rio Olympics is not dream at all.
Li: Sincerely wish them could do great in the future, Xia Xin Yi is very young and she has lots of opportunity. We could never foresee what abundant performance she could achieve. Even now, we already know she has huge potential.
Q6: FIVB has grown many Weibo followers over the last few months. Are you surprised at the rapid growth of the sport in China?
Cheng: Not a lot of people love playing beach volleyball unlike many westerners who play beach volleyball just because of they love it, which is something we should learn from.
Q7: Do you have any special words for our younger fans who are starting to enjoy volleyball?--
Li: Beach volleyball is some kind of activity, which doesn't require high skills.
When you have leisure time, you could ask some of your friends or relatives to go to beach together. Enjoy the fun time by playing beach volleyball together. Maybe you will start loving it. Sport like Beach volleyball will be developed after it prevails among people.