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An Jiajie: We have room for improvement

 
Nagoya, Japan, September 10, 2017 – China coach An Jiajie said that there is still room for improvement in the Chinese side, even after their four-set triumph over Japan and their title sweep in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup.

World Grand Champions Cup - Scores

China coach An Jiajie: We are very happy to be the champions and I want to express my deep gratitude to my players and coaches. There is still room for improvement in critical areas and that will be our next challenge. It’s the first year of the new Olympic cycle, so this is an important year for us.

China captain Zhu Ting: Japan fought really hard but our blocking was very good and our passing was good. I want to thank Japan for playing such a good game as it meant we were able to put on a good performance ourselves. I think Japan is getting better and better. I’d like to thank our group of coaches and my team-mates. Volleyball is a team sport and it was, thanks to other people that we were able to achieve such results.

China player Ding Xia: I think we did well in our first four matches but today Japan played at a high level and put pressure on us. But we were able to execute our game plan and were able to win, so I’m happy about that. I was impressed by Japan’s tenacity and that’s something I’d like to take with me.

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FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Women
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Men
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Japan coach Kumi Nakada: Today, we sometimes lost our positivity but we continued to fight to the end. China have height and really no weak points, but we have to find a way to compete against that. I think we achieved our targets for this year, more or less, but it’s obvious we have many challenges, so we have to analyse these well in order to prepare for next year. In terms of results, we didn’t do so well, but we played strong countries and sometimes we were able to take sets, which should help with the confidence of our players. Overall this competition was a very good experience for our players.

Japan captain Nana Iwasaka: I started in today’s game but couldn’t produce good results. It was partly due to a lack of technique. Of course, we must defend against Zhu Ting, but we needed to defend against their other players who can all score. We should have been better to stop them with better blocking. Overall, as captain I feel I didn’t lead the team as I should have done, so that disappoints me.

Japan player Erika Araki: Today against China, we were able to score well in some instances but they came back at us with strong spikes, push shots and good blocking. As they started to dominate, they were able to score more easily and we had fewer options in the end. It really doesn’t matter who we play, we should be able to determine the outcome as a team. We have done that to some extent as a team, so it gives us something to work from. But as a team we have a lot of room for improvement.

Japan player Miya Sato: Today, we really felt the strength of China, but really we were the reason why we lost the match. If you fail to do what you should do, it becomes really difficult to win. We wanted to increase the number of back row attacks in this game but in the first part of the game, we saw they could stop them too easily. Appearing on a global stage like this, I can see I need to acquire better techniques and improve mentally as well.

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