Tuesday, 23 April 2024
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CHINA START VNL PREPARATIONS IN BEIJING

CHINA START VNL PREPARATIONS IN BEIJING

Still on the hunt for a spot at the Paris Olympics, the Asians get to work with 16 players

After finishing second in the 2023 VNL, China return to this year’s edition fighting for a spot in Paris 2024

China were the first womenโ€™s national team to start their preparations for the 2024 international volleyball season as 16 players called up to form the Asian squad have been training since the end of last week in Beijing.

The team is more than two months away from its first tournament in the season, the 2024 Volleyball Nations League. The Chinese, who took silver in the event in 2023, will open this yearโ€™s campaign in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, facing Korea, USA, Canada and Serbia from May 14-18.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2024 live or on demand on VBTV.

Head coach Cai Bin, who started his second stint ahead of the team in 2022, is currently working with 16 players, who already concluded their club schedule in the 2023-2024 season โ€“ the Chinese national league ended at the start of the month. He expects six other players to join the group, enlarging the squad to 22 players.

โ€œThe players have been working very hard since the start of the training camp,โ€ the coach reflected. โ€œThe atmosphere on the court has been very good and so is their belief in the team. Weโ€™re bringing some younger players and we hope they can promote great competition with our veterans.โ€

Setters Diao Linyu and Xu Xiaoting, opposites Gong Xiangyu and Zheng Yixin, outside hitters Li Yingying, Wu Mengjie, Wang Yizhu, Zhuang Yushan, Wang Yunxiang and Zhang Changning, middle blockers Yuan Xinyue, Gao Yi, Wang Yuanyuan and Wang Wenhan and liberos Ni Feifan and Wang Mengjie are the players who already reported for training.

Star outside hitter Li Yingying is one of the 16 players training in Beijing (Photo: Volley China)

The return of 28-year-old outside hitter Changning is one of the attractions of the list released by Bin. A Rio 2016 Olympic champion, she hasnโ€™t played internationally since the Tokyo Games, in 2021, having faced injuries over the last two years before returning to the courts with her club Jiangsu last December.

โ€œChangning didnโ€™t have many opportunities to play after surgery, but I still selected her for the squad,โ€ Bin explained. โ€œI hope that she can improve her overall condition in the training camp and that she shows sheโ€™s ready to contribute to the team this season.โ€

https://youtu.be/B0wHtpFShQs

A potential return of star outside hitter…

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