Maybe the pressure on China's women's team is starting to show - three years before the Beijing Olympics. Gold medal-winners in Athens last summer, the Chinese have started the World Grand Prix finals with two straight losses, to Cuba and Italy. Even though they beat the Netherlands 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 yesterday, they have shown little of the spark and even less of the spirit that swept them to the Olympic title in such dramatic fashion 11 months ago, and, with two matches remaining, it is more about restoring their pride. 'What has gone wrong? It's very difficult to say,' said Chu Jinling, the team's most impressive player so far, after afternoon practice on Friday's rest day. 'I don't think I've enough time to answer,' said Chu. 'But every team is trying harder to beat us now we are Olympic champions. We feel that the women's volleyball team represents all the people of China, so this puts more pressure on us. 'They are happy when we win, but if we lose we think we have to apologise. I just feel we need to relax in our last three games and not be so nervous. 'If our mentality is right we can win,' she said. Brazil (2-0) and Japan (1-1) will be China's opponents today and tomorrow respectively, so the Olympic champions still have a chance to demonstrate their power. The form of Chu, however, is one of the bright spots of the Chinese team. The 20-year-old wing spiker from Dalian stands in joint second place in the individual rankings after two games with 31 points, just three behind Brazil's Paula Pequeno. Utilising her 1.90-metre beanpole frame to the maximum, Chu has pounded out the points with a smooth combination of power and timing that has impressed Japan's army of largely female volleyball-watchers amidst the wreckage of the Chinese challenge. 'Yes, I am happy with my own form at the moment, but it's only two games,' she says. 'Once it's finished, after five games, I can assess my performance more accurately. 'It is still my goal to win a place in the starting six, as I am not an automatic selection, and my dream is to be in the team at the Beijing Olympics.' Despite joining the national training camp in 2002, Chu could not force her way into the 12-strong squad for Athens - and she admits her initial delight at China's golden display quickly gave way to more practical matters. 'I was very happy, but at the same time I realised I would have to work and train hard to get into the team.' In order to achieve her target, she trains for anything between two to six hours a day, depending on the commitments of her club, Liaoning, the national team or her college, a sports school attached to Tianjin University. There's no doubt that Chu, who has been playing volleyball for 10 of her 20 years, is fully focused on the 2008 Olympic Games. Her form here and potential for the future will at least provide some comfort for head coach Chen Zhonghe.