Team spirit key for China's Zhu Ting
A gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Zhu Ting has guided club and country to success internationally
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That run continued in 2017 as the extraordinary hitter claimed the title at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship with her new club Vakifbank Istanbul. In the same year, China also won the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Grand Champions Cup. At each event - with club and country - Zhu was also voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Despite her young age, Zhu is now the captain of the Chinese team. And in spite of all the success, she has kept her feet planted firmly on the ground: “Volleyball is a wonderful sport. That’s important for me. And my team is important,” she says.
Zhu is a star in China, and is recognised everywhere she goes. But she underlines the importance of legendary coach “Jenny” Lang Ping in her development. “It's very important that Lang Ping taught me a lot of techniques. I’m as good as I am and have today's technology thanks to Lang Ping. I'm very lucky in volleyball, because so many people helped me on my way. I wouldn’t be here without them. Talent and hard work are equally important.”
Zhu talks below about the new FIVB Volleyball Nations League in an exclusive FIVB interview.
How important is the new Volleyball Nations League to you and your team this year?
Zhu Ting: It’s a very important part of the season and preparation for the FIVB Volleyball World Championships.
What do you think about the new format of the Volleyball Nations League?
Zhu Ting: The new plan, how we deal with this interesting new competition, will be made by the coach of our team. My teammates and I will try to implement it.
What are your goals and your team’s goals for the Volleyball Nations League? Which teams will be your toughest opponents?
Zhu Ting: As always, we will try to improve our technique in our team. Among our main opponents will be Brazil and the United States, to name but a few.
How important is the Volleyball Nations League as preparation for the World Championships?
Zhu Ting: I cannot overstate how important it is.
What are your goals for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship?
Zhu Ting: To learn from our rivals and strive to be the best.
What is the most important development in volleyball?
Zhu Ting: I think there are a lot of children involved in volleyball now. That’s very good for the future of our sport!
Which of your many successes do you rate as the biggest?
Zhu Ting: The gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio.
What dreams and goals do you still have as a volleyball player?
Zhu Ting: There is a lot of pressure, but I believe I can do even better in the future.
Do people in China recognize you on the streets? Do you like being a star?
Zhu Ting: Yes, there are some people who recognize me. If I were really a star, I would wish to be a person and player like Lang Ping.
Do you like your life in Istanbul, and how important is it to play abroad?
Zhu Ting: Yes, l like Istanbul! There are a lot of good players in my team and the Turkish league, and they have a lot of good qualities that I can learn from.
What do all these MVP trophies from different tournaments mean to you?
Zhu Ting: They mean that the Chinese team and I have made progress. It also means that the FIVB likes me.
Would you like to be the MVP at the Volleyball Nations League?
Zhu Ting: MVP would be great, but I think the game is more important. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.
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