Zhu Ting: “I don’t think I’m a star”


China captain Zhu Ting (right) and Turkey captain Fatma Yildirim exchange gifts before a Pool E1 Preliminary Round match in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix

Nanjing, China, July 31, 2017 - Without doubt one of the best volleyball players in the world, Zhu Ting (22) guided China to gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was named the tournament's MVP. And this year she won the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship with her club Vakifbank Istanbul and was again awarded MVP honours.

The new captain of Team China talks in an exclusive interview with about the upcoming 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Nanjing, China, about her outstanding career and her goals for the future.

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Are you looking forward to the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Nanjing?
Zhu Ting: I’m very happy, it's great to be in the Finals in my home country.

What are your goals in the Finals?
Zhu Ting: We need young players to play key tournaments like the World Grand Prix for their development. And we want to win every match we play.  

Who do you think are the favourites to win the Finals this year?
Zhu Ting: Six top teams will compete in the Finals and I think every team has an equal chance to win.  

How did the Chinese public react after the gold medal victory at the Olympics last year?
Zhu Ting: Everyone in the country was very happy about the victory. And a lot of students have started playing volleyball. That’s great for the future of Chinese volleyball.

Zhu Ting (right) celebrates winning gold in Rio with her teammates

Do the people on the street recognise you all the time and want autographs? Do you feel like a star in China?

Zhu Ting: I don't think I'm a star. I think the people like volleyball better.    

What changed in your life after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games?
Zhu Ting: I think I’m a little more mature now.

How important are individual awards for you like MVP at the Olympics or at the FIVB Club World Championships?
Zhu Ting: Volleyball is a wonderful sport. That’s important for me. And my team is important.    

How do you feel in your new role as the captain of the Chinese team?

Zhu Ting: It feels good. I have a new status now and try to take care of my responsibilities well.

How important was Lang Ping for your development as a player?
Zhu Ting: It was very important that Lang Ping taught me a lot of techniques. I’m as good as I am and have the technique I have today thanks to Lang Ping.

What are the special strenghts of the Chinese team?
Zhu Ting: We never give up. And we are strong, because we have a big solidarity and cooperation in the team.  

Where, when and why did you start to play volleyball?
Zhu Ting: I saw it for the first time on television and liked volleyball and the height of the play. Then I started to practise and I have loved the sport since then.

What are the secrets of your success? How important is talent and how important is hard work?
Zhu Ting: 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.      

What is your new life in Istanbul like and how important is it for you in your development as a player and as a person?
Zhu Ting: It’s exciting to play abroad for the first time. I can learn a lot from the great athletes who play in my team, in the Turkish league and in Europe.   

What are your goals for the future personally and as a volleyball player?
Zhu Ting: I hope the Chinese women's volleyball team will continue to develop. Personally I hope to play three Olympics.

What are your goals at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in September and at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championships next year?
Zhu Ting: My team and I try to win every match.


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