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Olympic MVP Zhu gets acclimated to life with Vakifbank Istanbul

Reporter: Damion Jones 丨 CCTV.com

09-23-2016 16:33 BJT

One of China's star volleyball players, Zhu Ting. The 21-year-old who joined national team just over three years ago, has seen her career take off in a hurry. The PRC won the Asian Championship and World Cup in 2015, before grabbing Olympic gold in Rio last month. Now the young spiker is looking to swing over yet another net, after joining one of the top Turkish League teams, Vakifbank Istanbul.

Chinese outside hitter Zhu Ting arrived in Turkey last week, eager to begin the latest chapter of her club career with Vakifbank Istanbul. So far, the main focus in practice has been getting acclimated to her new team.

Olympic MVP Zhu gets acclimated to life with Vakifbank Istanbul

Olympic MVP Zhu gets acclimated to life with Vakifbank Istanbul

"Through yesterday's training session, and working alongside my teammates, I feel that we are lagging in terms of non-verbal communication with each other. But I think we can achieve that around one week's practicing," said Zhu Ting.

In order to better communicate with her teammates, Zhu is now studying Turkish, and seems to have quickly picked up some of the basic terms in the language.

"I can just say a few things -- for example -- `ba, Zhu Ting` means `me, Zhu Ting,` and that means I will take care of this ball on the court. That's the phrase I use most," said Zhu Ting.

The Turkish Women's Volleyball League is considered by many fans to be the sport's equivalent of soccer's EPL, and that is one of the main reasons Zhu headed to Istanbul, to face some of the world's best competition.

"The level of competitiveness is very high in Turkey, and Vakifbank is a very good team. I think I can learn some great techniques here. Here everything on the court is different from the situation I have with the national team, including the gestures we use on the court. Sometimes we have to shout to convey information. Another challenge living here is cooking," said Zhu Ting.

Hi everyone. I am now in Turkey. And right now I am in the supermarket buying some vegetables to cook. This is my first mission here.

Shortly after landing in Istanbul and deciding to whip up meal number one, Zhu posted her grocery shopping exploits on social media, as a reminder that she faces challenges both on and off the court. In October, the 21-year-old will head to the Philippines, as the TWVL titleholders look to win the FIVB Club World Championship. Vakifbank will then resume their drive to capture a second straight domestic trophy, with Zhu expected to play a big role in that quest.

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