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Middle hitter Xu Yunli's hometown joins country in celebration


08-21-2016 15:42 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

As China celebrates the women's volleyball team winning gold at the Games, one of the loudest cheers arose from middle hitter Xu Yunli's hometown of Fuqing, in Fujian Province. The 29-year-old was injured for the final, but that didn't stop her from stepping up on the court.


China's Xu Yunli celebrates during the women's gold medal match of Volleyball against Serbia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 20, 2016. China won the gold medal. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)

Xu's hometown was an exciting place to be this morning. Besides her family and friends, Xu's teachers and neighbors all came to the imposing blocker's home to watch the game and cheer for her. In the first set, Serbia had no answers on three straight Xu serves, as China won three consecutive points. Her first teacher explained that the 1.96-meter-tall spiker has three attack techniques, which make her a powerful player. As China finally won 3-1 to claim the gold medal, Xu's home erupted into ecstatic cheers, and fireworks were set off outside to celebrate the victory.

"Not easy, it was not easy for her. She suffered a lot of pains and injury in recent years. She spent a lot of energy preparing for the Olympics. I often encouraged her to be brave and play free in the match, and always give her best," said Xu Yunli's father Xu Fangrui. 

"I think we learned a lot from the volleyball team, such as fighting hard for goals and working together. No matter how many times they fell behind, they would try their best to catch up."

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