Prospect of volleyball in Hangzhou Asian Games: China men’s and women’s volleyball teams don’t do "multiple choice" in the face of "devil’s schedule"

Xinhua News Agency, Hangzhou, September 18th (Reporter Lu Xingji): The men’s and women’s volleyball competitions of the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou are closely related to the Olympic qualifiers. Some Asian teams who will take part in these two events at the same time have made choices and trade-offs, but the host team, China, is obviously prepared to answer these two "big questions" at the same time.
On September 17th, China players took a group photo after the game. On the same day, China beat Mexico 3-0 in Group A of the Women’s Volleyball Qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Tao photo
The Asian Games in Hangzhou will open on September 23rd, and the men’s volleyball competition will take the lead from September 19th to September 26th. One of the reasons for this arrangement is that the men’s volleyball qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympic Games will start on September 30th. After the Asian Games, China, Iranian and Japanese teams will participate in this event immediately.
As for women’s volleyball team, China, Japanese, Korean and Thai teams are currently participating in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and the competition in Group A where China is located will not end until September 24th. From September 30th, the Asian Games will start again, and the connection is not tight.
Due to the rhythm of the adjustment of competitive state, many Asian teams have reservations about the lineup of the Asian Games. Take the Japanese women’s volleyball team as an example, there are five players in the Asian Games lineup who are also on the Olympic qualifying list, but they are mainly second-tier players and have not undertaken heavy competition tasks at present. However, this Japanese women’s volleyball team participating in the Asian Games has many players who have been playing in the international arena for many years, such as Haruki Shimamura and Youjia Muhei. Their experience and competitive level have certain strength, and they are likely to be China’s main rivals for the championship.
In terms of men’s volleyball, similar to women’s volleyball, the Japanese men’s volleyball team did not send the main lineup to participate in the Hangzhou Asian Games, but started a group of players who were in the second line and experienced in international competitions, such as Xishan Daxiang and Gaoli Jiantai. Even so, this Japanese men’s volleyball team is quite competitive among Asian teams.
However, the Iranian men’s volleyball team, which won the titles of the Incheon Asian Games in 2014 and the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, is the main force this time, aiming to win three consecutive Asian Games titles in one fell swoop.
According to the list of men’s and women’s volleyball teams participating in the Asian Games released by the China Volleyball Association, there is little difference between China’s Asian Games staffing and the lineup participating in the Olympic qualifiers. It can be said that China, as the host, is ready for continuous operations.
In women’s volleyball, China sent four main players: Li Yingying, Wang Yun Peng, Zhong Hui and Wu Mengjie. Three deputy attackers: Yuan Xinyue, Wang Yuanyuan and Gao Yi. Two responders: Gong Xiangyu and Zheng Yixin. Two setters: Diao Linyu and Ding Xia. A free man: Wang Mengjie.
On September 17th, China team player Yuan Xinyue (first from right) spiked in the game. On the same day, China beat Mexico 3-0 in Group A of the Women’s Volleyball Qualifier for the Paris Olympic Games in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. Xinhua News Agency reporter Chen Bin photo
The above lineup is the essence of China Women’s Volleyball Team at present. Compared with the Olympic qualifiers, only one assistant attacker and one free man are reduced. At present, the main players in all positions in this lineup are first-class or even super-class in Asia. For the use of this lineup, head coach Cai Bin is also more handy. In this year’s World Women’s Volleyball League, he led the team to win the runner-up.
At the Asian Games, the China team is likely to have a new point of view in the main attack position. Will Cai Bin use the newcomer Wu Mengjie more in the case of continuous fighting? How will she use the opportunity of this contest to prove herself? Will be a big suspense.
At the Asian Games, China’s elite women’s volleyball team did its best, and the strength of its main rival’s lineup was slightly weak. From the momentum, China team will definitely strive for the championship. But at present, the only and biggest uncertainty is how the players can recover their physical strength and adjust their state in the short gap between the Olympic qualifiers and the Asian Games. This also tests the wisdom of head coach Cai Bin.
The picture shows China women’s volleyball coach Cai Bin. Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Tao photo
"Now is not the time to talk about the Asian Games. At present, all our attention is focused on the Olympic qualifiers, and we must play well one venue at a time." This is Cai Bin’s response to how to adjust the team’s state to cope with the Asian Games.
In men’s volleyball, China sent Zhang Jingyin, Yu Yuantai, Wang Bin, Dai Qingyao, Li Yongzhen, Peng Shikun, Wang Dongchen, Jiang Chuan, Zhang Guanhua, Yu Yaochen, Wang Hebin and Qu Zongshuai. This is also the essence of China Men’s Volleyball Team at present.
On July 9th, China players celebrated the score in the game. On the same day, China lost to the Canadian team 1-3 in the 2023 World Men’s Volleyball League in Pasay, Philippines. Xinhua News Agency (photo by Umali)
China is in the same group as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan in the group stage. According to the current strength of China men’s volleyball team and the lineup of other teams, China team is expected to face a certain impact after entering the knockout stage, and must go all out to stand on the stage of semi-finals and even finals.
The Asian Games is only the beginning of China men’s volleyball team’s high-intensity challenge in the near future. How will this team adjust its status and go to Xi ‘an for the men’s volleyball qualifying round of the Paris Olympic Games without stopping? Let’s wait and see!