Lausanne, Switzerland, August 30, 2017 - The top female volleyball players in the world will do battle for the title of champion of champions at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup from September 5 to 10.
The planned return of legendary player and coach “Jenny” Lang Ping to the Chinese team is at least as spectacular. After coaching China to Olympic success in Rio de Janeiro last year, the former top hitter took time out from working with the team. After seeing the Chinese miss out on the title in the final round of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, which took place on home soil in Nanjing, Lang Ping should now come back to guide to her team. She is reported as feeling fit enough to return to work, despite having recently undergone an operation.
A number of big-name stars will also return to the US team for the World Grand Champions Cup. The preliminary squad for the tournament means the Americans can call on the leadership qualities of experienced Olympians Jordan Larson and Kimberly Hill at outside hitter, and Foluke Akinradewo and Rachael Adams at centre. The quartet of Olympians was given time to rest this summer after a long Olympic cycle followed directly by the professional club season this past winter and spring. Kim Hill, for example, won the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship with VakifBank Istanbul in May – alongside China’s Zhu Ting.
“For the upcoming World Grand Champions Cup, we have the possibility of incorporating several players with Olympic and World Championship experience who did not compete in the World Grand Prix. Players like Jordan, Foluke, Kim and Rachael,” said head coach Karch Kiraly. “That kind of experience can be very beneficial for any team, certainly for ours.”
South Korea, who take their place at the World Grand Champions Cup courtesy of a wild card, will be counting on some big performances from attacking machine Kim Yeon Koung. She led her team to bronze in their continental championship.