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China's volleyball coach Lang Ping aims high for Rio 2016

Reporter: Yan Yangchen, Zhang Lin 丨 CCTV.com

08-01-2016 16:42 BJT

Traditionally China has always been strong when it comes to women's volleyball -- being among the top nations in the sport during the 80s. A blip in the 90s and early 2000's would follow but back under the guidance of coach Lang Ping, it looks like they are back among the elite, after winning the World Cup. Now the focus has switched to the Olympics and their coach Lang Ping is gunning for gold. CCTV's Mike Fox has more.

Beilun, the Chinese volleyball team's training base. This was where the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix took place and was also the last tournament for China's women before they jet off to Rio.

The three-day event finished with some satisfying results. China beat Thailand, Germany and the USA to claim the title but for coach Lang Ping, the trophy was secondary to the importance of being in good form for the games.

China coach Lang Ping said, "The Grand Prix is an important event. My players need to adjust themselves to the best conditions both physically and mentally. We have been working on lot of different details. The key is to quickly adapt to the environment in order to put in the best performance."

Lang has been bringing new players in since she took charge four years ago so most of them will be playing in their first Olympics.

This latest crop of youngster will be hoping to add their names to the list of talents who have grown under the famous coach.

Triumphs at the recent world cup and world championships means there is pressure on the Chinese team to deliver but it might come at a cost.

"I believe in my players but after last year's World Cup we might still see some injuries. We don't want that happen. But we will prepare the same anyway," said Lang.

China have a tough challenge in front of them.

They are drawn in the same group with U.S., Serbia, Italy, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico. With the U.S. and Serbia being amongst the world's top 3 teams along with China.  Italy earned fourth place at the World Championships, while Netherlands were the runner-up in European Championship so with such strong opponents, Lang's attitude is clear.

Lang said, "I think those opponents should feel the same as we do. They should regard us as difficult opponents. We're also very strong. We're capable of fighting against them. Those teams are very close so the most important thing is who can show their best on the court."

China last won an Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. They came third four years later in Beijing and only finished fifth in London. However under Lang's guidance they have been  revived and a lot is expected of them in Brazil.

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