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Sunday, August 28, 2016, 17:18

Local kids test their skills against the world’s best

By Dara Wang

Local kids test their skills against the world’s best
The Chinese women’s volleyball team with local children at Tai Kok Tsui, Hong Kong on Aug 28, 2016. (Provided to China Daily)
HONG KONG - Thirteen members of the Chinese women’s volleyball team joined more than 200 local children in giving the kids a chance to take on the best in the world, in Tai Kok Tsui Sunday.

The cheering began the moment the gold medal winning athletes arrived at Olympian City, a shopping mall in Kowloon West, and never seemed to stop.

Standing among the cheering crowd, one woman surnamed Wong said she had watched Chinese women’s volleyball matches since her childhood. “I am obsessed with those girls and their excellent skills and persistence of spirit. I couldn’t stop crying the moment Hui smashed a direct kill to close out the final at Rio,” Wong said.

Lang Ping, the first player and coach to win gold in Olympic volleyball, said coaching was much tougher than playing. “The player on the court puts forth her strength by hitting the ball. While as a coach, I stand aside to watch the competition in anxiety,” Lang said.

Local kids test their skills against the world’s best
Lang Ping, coach of the Olympic gold medal-winning Chinese volleyball team, waves at Olympian City in Hong Kong on Aug 28, 2016. (Provided to China Daily)
Zhu Ting, named most valuable player at 2016 Olympics, thanked her teammates for their close cooperation and unending support.

Team captain Hui Ruoqi, who had surgery for a heart condition last year, said it was the never-say-die team spirit that got her through the obstacles and challenges.

This year’s triumph in Rio was the third gold Chinese women’s volleyball team has won at Olympics since 1984. The outstanding performances have inspired many to keep going.

During the game on Sunday, a 6-year-old boy asked the team member what they did in their free time. Zhang Changning, a member of the Chinese women’s team said, “Just like typical young people, we like listening to pop music and watching idol dramas to relax.”

Earlier Sunday morning, the team also visited elderly residents living at a government-subsidized nursing home in Diamond Hill, Kowloon East, and extended their best wishes.

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