China and Japan meet in World Grand Prix "Match of the week" programme
Watch China v Japan live stream
China ended last weekend on three wins with a final Pool F 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16) victory against Italy in Hong Kong. China head coach Lang Ping was pleased with the result: “Italy is a very strong team in Europe. Their attacks and defense are well-rounded. In the previous pool in Italy our attacks were not smart enough. We enhanced our quick attacks in today’s match."
Meanwhile, Japan defeated Thailand in four sets 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 19-25, 25-20) on Sunday, ending a nine-match losing streak in the competition. After losing against Italy and China earlier in the weekend, Japan captain Saori Kimura was pleased to see her team win the match, even if Thailand caused Japan difficulties in the third set: "We had good rhythm in the beginning, but in the third set, we couldn’t overcome Thailand’s good combination of tactics. It was good to win the game in the end."
China have won their last six World Grand Prix matches in Macau since losing against Italy in the final for 7th-8th place in the 2011 season. Japan, on the other hand, have won only four of 17 matches in total in Macau. Japan, however, are sure to participate in the World Grand Prix Finals in Tokyo as hosts of the tournament. China and Japan have met in 21 World Grand Prix matches, with Japan only winning once - which was during the 2001 edition of the competition (3-0).
English commentary for the World Grand Prix programme will be provided by John Burgess, Dan Strange and Tim Long.
Tim Long, who will be providing commentary for the week three Match of the Week programme, is a fast-rising young commentator, with experience from an early age in an array of sports. He commentates on the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and various other football competitions for Manchester United (MUTV), talkSPORT, and BT Sport. He also covers Euroleague and FIBA basketball, and commentated on 10 different sports at the 2013 World Games in Colombia.
The first World Grand Prix "Match of the week" programme focused on the encounter between Turkey and Russia on August 3. This was followed by the second "Match of the week" programme, which saw World Grand Prix title holders and Olympic champions Brazil take on USA on August 10.
Three additional World Grand Prix matches will be shown on FIVB Web TV this weekend. These are:
- Turkey v Germany on Friday at 15.40 CEST
- Italy v Germany on Saturday at 15.40 CEST
- Korea v Serbia on Sunday at 7.00 CEST
The full list of World Grand Prix matches being shown on FIVB Web TV is available here.
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