Photos: Yue Yuewei for Xinhua
The Chinese women's volleyball team defeated their Olympic hosts and defending champions, the Brazilian team, with a score of 3:2 on Aug. 16. This victory means that the Chinese team will enter the volleyball semi-finals.
After the match, setter Wei Qiuyue confirmed that the team had performed its very best, and proudly persevered even when things weren't going smoothly. Wei believes this is the team's biggest achievement so far in the Rio Olympics. Looking ahead to the semifinal and final, today's match is invaluable as far as bolstering confidence and cultivating the younger athletes, Wei expressed.
"Although we didn't perform well in the first set, we still kept calm and fought for every point. We competed with our opponents without focusing too much on the results," Wei explained. As for the semifinal, she emphasized that they will remain calm and simply do their best in the coming matches.
Ding Xia, setter in the starting line-up, said that they consider this match their last training lesson in the Rio Olympics.
"For the older players like Xu Yunli, they may not have chance to participate in the next Olympic Games. We don't want to have any regrets. We really came together as a team today," Ding said, crediting their collective success to each one of the 12 players.
Ding explained that cheers from the Brazilian audience impacted them at first.
"I think concentration is important. Substituting for a back-line player, I became so focused that I tuned out the audience's cheers."
Captain Hui Ruoqi said that the significance of this match should not be underestimated.
"Although today's match was a real challenge, we found success by joining together," Hui said. "Actually, we were blundering in the first set, feeling pressured by the Brazilians. Later we began to concentrate on ourselves. For the coming matches, we will do our utmost to stay competitive."
Head Coach Lang Ping seconded Ding's sentiment that the team didn't want to have any regrets about their performance.
"Thanks to every player, we have truly redeemed ourselves," Lang said.
China's head coach Lang Ping