Hammer's smash and grab

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 September, 1994, 12:00am

FORMER Chinese heroine Lang Ping spearheads an all-star selection team which faces China, Japan and world champions Cuba in November's World Women's Volleyball Hong Kong Super Challenge Cup at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

Lang, who helped China to victory in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and was nicknamed the 'Hammer' for her ferocious smashes, has recently come out of retirement and has become captain of an all-star team which comprises semi-retired players from Japan, Russia and the US.

It's the first time an all-star team will have played in the territory. The tournament, which runs from November 18-20, is worth US$100,000, with $50,000 going to the winners and US$25,000 to the runners-up.

Lang should provide ample interest to spectators. She became an instant heroine after her exploits at the Los Angeles Games where she led China to the gold medal.

Despite her advancing years, the 33-year-old is still recognised as one of the most well-known athletes from the mainland. Lang has recently migrated to the US and speaks fluent English.

Lang will be assistant coach to the all-star team with Russia's Nikolai Karpol, a regular visitor of the territory, named as the chief coach.

The all-star team had their first test when they competed in an exhibition match against the Chinese national team last Christmas in Beijing and although China came out the better, the all-star team showed promise.