China’s national team won the “FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Macau 2016” (WGP). The three-day event, held in the Macau Forum from June 17 to 19, saw the team renew the title it first won in 2014, the last time the event was held in the territory.
The Chinese national team climbed to the top of the Group 1 classification table, scoring 17 points with six wins in six matches. The number of days in the event, three, is equal to the number of victories from the Chinese team.
In the final game Sunday afternoon, the Chinese team beat Brazil 3-0, having dominated the match from start to finish. Despite not playing at their best, the team won all three sets (25-23, 25-16, 25-20).
In the press conference after the match with Brazil, China’s captain Hui Ruoqi admitted the team’s surprise at the unexpected result.
“I’m happy because we finally won against Brazil, which is something that we were aiming for a long time. We were actually prepared for a tougher game today, so winning in three straight sets was quite surprising for us,” she said, highlighting the extent of the team’s preparation for the match.
“It is a great encouragement to us to be able to win [over] Brazil. Our team worked really hard although we had a few ups and downs during the game. We hope in the future to have a more stable performance,” said Lang Ping, China’s head coach.
When asked about the importance of the victory over Brazil in the context of the upcoming Olympics, Lang said: “It is important to win to boost our confidence but I don’t think [it] will be the same thing. The Olympics will be much more intense. This is a very young team and we still need to improve ourselves.”
Brazil did not attend the awards ceremony or the final press conference due to scheduling issues with their travel. The Brazilian team proved to be the great disappointment of the tournament, losing two of the three matches played and struggling to get their 3-1 over Belgium.
Although the final result on the Macau pool was not so positive, Brazil seemed to be starting well on Friday, just one week after their win over the same Serbian team in Rio de Janeiro. Its initial advantage of 2-0 in Macau led many to anticipate a similar outcome, which never transpired. Looking physically tired and uninspired, the Brazilians lost the match 2-3.
The Serbian team was listed in the second position on the Macau pool but could have performed better. After a tremendous win over Brazil, they encountered China on the second day in what might have been the best match of the entire event.
The Serbians only broke at the very end after forcing China into a fifth and final set, losing in highly disputed scores (27-25, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9) with the final 3-2 in favour of China.