Outstanding hitter Zhu Ting and her team won the 2017 edition of the coveted World Grand Champions Cup in September. This victory came on the heels of Zhu Ting’s gold medal performance at the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup victory.
China’s victory in the World Grand Champions Cup, which takes place once every four years following the Olympic Games, gave the Asian nation their second victory in the competition, following their success in 2001.
The World Grand Champions Cup takes place once every four years in the year following the Olympic Games. The gold medals helped ease the disappointment of coming fourth at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Nanjing a little over a month earlier.
China made a strong showing at the Women’s World Grand Champions Cup, despite the fact that Brazil took home the gold at the World Grand Prix. In what turned out to be the deciding match of the six-team event, which was played in a round-robin format, the Chinese team overcame its South American competitors with a score of 3-2 (25-20, 25-12, 20-25, 23-25, 19-17).
It was a rematch of the Olympic quarterfinal in Rio de Janeiro, where China put an end to Brazilian hopes of winning in front of their home crowd. The Chinese were able to seal that all-important victory by fending off two match points. Zhu Ting’s score of 33 points was good enough to win the match that took place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Zhu Ting, the captain of China’s squad, commented on the match by saying that both sides performed at their absolute best in the fifth set and that it was a stroke of luck that we won. The Brazilian squad is one of the best in the world, but we were able to come out on top thanks to the combined efforts of the whole group, not just mine. We were down by two match points when we rallied back and won. During that particular set, we made some mental modifications.
In the end, it came down to a contest of nerves between two outstanding teams. And the performance of Zhu Ting was essential. The hitter was also at the top of the competition’s scorer list, having amassed a total of 100 points thanks to China’s five triumphs. As was the case when China won the 2015 FIVB World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, Zhu Ting was honored with the Most Valuable Player award.
And it’s possible that Zhu Ting and her teammates have more in store for the future. The coach of China, An Jiajie, believes that there is an opportunity for further development. We are overjoyed to have won, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my most sincere appreciation to both my players and my coaches. According to him, there is still potential for improvement in important areas, and tackling that issue will be our next challenge. Considering that this was the first year of the new Olympic cycle, it was a very significant year for us.
After watching his Brazilian team win the FIVB World Grand Prix for the 12th time earlier in the year, successful Brazilian coach Ze Roberto had to settle for the silver medal after his team’s performance. On the final day of matches in Japan, a victory over the United States of America by a score of 3-0 guaranteed at least second place.
Thousands of fervent fans showed up to every match to support the hosts, Japan, who were competing. They ultimately finished in fifth place, slightly below Russia, but they did earn a prestigious victory over Brazil by a score of 3-2 along the way.
Despite falling to China by a score of 1-3 on the final day of the competition, Japan fought valiantly and displayed a lot of heart. According to the head coach of Japan’s team, Kumi Nakada, China is the best team and has earned the right to win this event. I believe that we were successful in achieving our goals for this year, at least to a certain extent; but, it is abundantly clear that we face many obstacles; hence, we will need to thoroughly analyze these in order to get ready for next year. The experience of competing in this tournament was, on the whole, quite positive for our athletes. And wonderful entertainment for all of our supporters.
For additional details regarding the Grand Championships Cup, click here