Year in Review: Zhu Ting stars anew as China defend World Cup title


Lausanne, Switzerland, December 29, 2019 – Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Zhu Ting provided leadership on the court and the scoring proficiency once again to lead China to an inspiring title defence in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup in Osaka, Japan.

The Chinese skipper kept her team rolling along with her great leadership and consistent scoring performances to complete an 11-match unbeaten run that ultimately earned her MVP honours for the second straight edition.

Ten players from the 2015 roster – Zhu, Zhang Changning, Yan Ni, Yuan Xinyue, Lin Li, Ding Xia, Wang Mengjie, Liu Yanhan, Zheng Chunlei and Liu Xiaotong – returned to the 2019 edition. Coach Lang Ping formed a winning combination with the addition of Gong Xiangyu, Wang Yuanyuan, Yao Di, Li Yingying, Zheng Yixin and Yang Hanyu.

China made an impressive start in their campaign with five straight-set victories in Yokohama, beating Korea, Cameroon, Russia, Dominican Republic and hosts Japan.

They faced their toughest challenger Brazil, as the South Americans led 2-1 in the match before China won the match in the tiebreaker. The next day, China regained their focus and stunned reigning VNL champions the United States in straight sets before another sweeping win against Kenya to complete their dominance in Sapporo.

In Osaka, China also had a minor setback against the Netherlands and allowed the latter to snatch a set but with Zhu’s heroics, the Asian side managed to overcome the Europeans. Then they routed their Serbian rivals before finally completing their World Cup mission with a 3-0 win against Argentina.

The United States finished in second place with a 10-1 win-loss card, while Russia claimed third place with eight wins and three losses.

The North American side relied on the offence of Kelsey Robinson and Annie Drews as they consistently led their team, while the Russians had Nataliya Goncharova on the forefront of offence and Irina Koroleva as their net defence specialist.

Zhu Ting led the Dream Team in the Women’s World Cup as Most Valuable Player and Best Outside Spiker.

Joining her were her three teammates who all played exceptionally well to help earn their team back-to-back titles. Ding Xia won Best Setter, Yan Ni as Best Middle Blocker and Wang Mengjie as Best Libero.

Robinson and Drews represented the United States in the Dream Team as Best Outside Spiker and Best Opposite, respectively, while Koroleva won the award for Best Middle Blocker.