VNL 2024 - News

Brazil (BRA) vs. China (CHN) women - Quarterfinals #5820704

After finishing second in the 2023 VNL, China return to this year's edition fighting for a spot in Paris 2024

China were the first women’s national team to start their preparations for the 2024 international volleyball season as 16 players called up to form the Asian squad have been training since the end of last week in Beijing.

The team is more than two months away from its first tournament in the season, the 2024 Volleyball Nations League. The Chinese, who took silver in the event in 2023, will open this year’s campaign in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, facing Korea, USA, Canada and Serbia from May 14-18.

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Head coach Cai Bin, who started his second stint ahead of the team in 2022, is currently working with 16 players, who already concluded their club schedule in the 2023-2024 season – the Chinese national league ended at the start of the month. He expects six other players to join the group, enlarging the squad to 22 players.

“The players have been working very hard since the start of the training camp,” the coach reflected. “The atmosphere on the court has been very good and so is their belief in the team. We’re bringing some younger players and we hope they can promote great competition with our veterans.”

Setters Diao Linyu and Xu Xiaoting, opposites Gong Xiangyu and Zheng Yixin, outside hitters Li Yingying, Wu Mengjie, Wang Yizhu, Zhuang Yushan, Wang Yunxiang and Zhang Changning, middle blockers Yuan Xinyue, Gao Yi, Wang Yuanyuan and Wang Wenhan and liberos Ni Feifan and Wang Mengjie are the players who already reported for training.

Li Volley China

Star outside hitter Li Yingying is one of the 16 players training in Beijing (Photo: Volley China)

The return of 28-year-old outside hitter Changning is one of the attractions of the list released by Bin. A Rio 2016 Olympic champion, she hasn’t played internationally since the Tokyo Games, in 2021, having faced injuries over the last two years before returning to the courts with her club Jiangsu last December.

“Changning didn’t have many opportunities to play after surgery, but I still selected her for the squad,” Bin explained. “I hope that she can improve her overall condition in the training camp and that she shows she’s ready to contribute to the team this season.”

A potential return of star outside hitter Zhu Ting, who also hasn’t played for China since the Tokyo Olympics, is still not confirmed. According to Bin, the coaching staff has been in contact with her, but a final decision will just be made once she completes her club season with Italy’s Savino Del Bene Scandicci and is able to assess her physical condition.

“We’ll always respect whatever decision she makes, but the doors of the national team remain open for her,” the coach explained. “I hope she can be in a good condition to fight for our country.”

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China looking to qualify for Paris 2024

China have a big mission to accomplish in the VNL 2024 as the Asians are still trying to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Serbia, Türkiye and the United States secured their spots at last year’s Volleyball Olympic Qualification Tournaments, joining host country France.

The final five berths will be awarded via the FIVB Volleyball World Rankings and the result of each match of the VNL’s Preliminary Phase will impact the rankings. China are currently in sixth place in the Rankings and are the second-highest ranked national team to not have earned a spot in Paris 2024 yet.

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