Chinese superstar and 2016 Olympic MVP Zhu Ting has returned to training with the Chinese women’s national team in Hong Kong after two weeks spent away on a break in Hong Kong, and is expected to rejoin the team in the 3rd week of play. Zhu missed the first two weeks after coming straight from the Champions League Final 4, where she had a few physical aches-and-pains arise.
Zhu, the world’s highest-paid player, will bring reinforcement and stability to a Chinese team that is just 3-3 through the first two weeks of play. That ranks them 8th, although they’re guaranteed of a spot in the Final 6 as the hosts.
Also expected back on the roster is Yingying Li, who didn’t play in week 2 in Macau but who led the team in scoring in their first week of play in Ningbo – her first-ever action with the Chinese National Team at 18-years old.
In training this week in Hong Kong, where China hosts their third-straight pool, Zhu began with mostly technical work and very little conditioning effort. The same is true of Li, who practiced outside of the team and focused mostly on her back-row passing skills, which is the biggest weakness in her young game. The athletes took part in an autograph session after the training, but declined interviews.
China is also without their top middle blocker, Yuan Xinyue, and 2 others as they’re participating in the World Military Championships in Canada.
China hosts Japan, Italy, and Argentina this week and will host again next week before their only week on the road, to Stuttgart, Germany, in week 5 of the competition.