After a comfortable opening victory against Ukraine, China made it two wins from two after swatting aside Mexico 3-0 in Pool A of the Paris Olympic women’s volleyball qualifiers in Ningbo, China.
A total of 24 teams have convened to engage in fervent competition, vying for the coveted six quota places that will grant them participation in the 2024 Olympic Games. These teams will partake in three arduous qualification tournaments, which are set to unfold across two continents.
Asia will host two of these groups, wherein China serves as the stage for Pool A matches, while Japan extends its hospitality to Pool B fixtures. Meanwhile, the remaining group of eight teams will slug it out on European soil, with Poland assuming the role of the host for the Pool C encounters.
China now occupy the sixth spot in the World Ranking. Since the momentous Los Angeles Games in 1984, China have showcased their consistency by participating in every single edition of the Olympic Games.
During Sunday night’s showdown with Mexico, China stuck with the same starting lineup as the first game, fielding Yuan Xinyue, Diao Linyu, Gong Xiangyu, Wang Yuanyuan, Wang Yunlu, Li Yingying, and Wang Mengjie.
Right from the outset, Mexico committed a grievous error, relinquishing the initiative to their adversaries. Conversely, China, unfazed by their slow start, swiftly accelerated their momentum.
The hosts deftly widened the point disparity, establishing a commanding lead that reached an impressive double-digit advantage. In the end, China emerged triumphant, securing the first set 25-14, leaving no room for doubt regarding their dominance.
As the second set unfolded, China persisted in their command of the game. However, Mexico exhibited commendable resilience, rallying their efforts to bridge the gap and level the score at 6-6.
From that juncture, the contest intensified, with both sides fiercely jostling for supremacy. In the waning stages of the set, Mexico succumbed to a series of errors, while the substitute Wu Mengjie came off the bench and made a pivotal spike to help China claim another victory 25-18.
China pressed on with unwavering determination in the third set. The team swiftly carved out an advantageous position from the get-go and proceeded to wrap up the tie with a huge marge of 25-7, thus producing their second straight-set victory.
“After our encounter with Ukraine, it became apparent that we were somewhat constrained by tension. Today, I told my players the importance of adopting a more composed approach, and they heeded my advice,” observed China coach Cai Bin, reflecting on his team’s triumph.
Following a well-deserved day of respite, China will return to the sporting arena on Tuesday to resume their pursuit of glory. Their upcoming opponent, the Czech Republic, unfortunately endured a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands later in the day.
This outcome serves as a testament to the formidable prowess exhibited by the Dutch team, as well as an indication of the arduous challenge that await the Czech Republic in their encounter with China.