China to rest captain Zhu Ting for VNL debut

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Zhu Ting.

Olympic champions China will kick off their FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) campaign without captain and star player Zhu Ting, confirmed head coach Lang Ping on Monday.

"Zhu just completed her season with Turkey's VakifBank on May 6th. It has been a very long and tough season. She must be tired though she came back to China and reported herself to the national team in Beilun," said Lang, who led the Chinese women's volleyball team to lift trophy two years ago in Rio Olympics.

The 23-year-old scored a team-high 15 points to help VakifBank Istanbul win over Romania's CSM Volleyball Alba Blaj 3-0 in the European Champions League final Bucharest a week ago, after the Turkish team claimed the duo titles of local league and Cup.

"As for this time, she'll skip the Beilun tournament, go for some medical check, get some rest and maybe also pay a visit to her family since she's got a vacation of around 10 days," Land said.

"I hope she can do some physical training during this period and expect her comeback in two weeks. Well, it's also upon her mental and physical status whether she'll be sent on court at that time," she added.

The hosts China came out of a month-long training camp in Beilun before heading for the opening game of the newly developed Volleyball Nations League, which was known as the FIVB Grand Prixes in the previous season.

"I feel honored to be here, Beilun, again to participate in the Volleyball Nations League," said Lang at the pre-tournament press conference. "The VNL will last for six weeks. We'll try to improve the physical strength of our players, and to push their skills to a new level throughout the competitions as well as to test the squad's rookies."

"Also, we want to have a better understanding of the present women's volleyball world, to see how our opponents' techniques have improved and how their newcomers play on court during this event. Moreover, we want to learn something from other three teams," she added.

China will play against Belgium, Dominica Republic and South Korea in the May 15-17 event in Beilun while 16 teams make their debuts to the new formula of world league on sites all over the world. 

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