FORMER world volleyball power China, spurred on by a partisan crowd, showed their class when they won their first match at the Hutchison Telecom Macau women's Challenge against arch-rivals Russia at the Macau Forum last night. China, Olympic champions in 1984 but a dismal failure at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, defeated the Russians 3-1 in their opening match of the World Grand Prix. The Chinese played their first match since being beaten by Brazil in last week's Jakarta leg and they made the most of a 3,000-plus crowd backing to outplay the 1988 Olympic champions 15-4, 13-15, 15-7, 15-12. They started the ball rolling when they easily clinched the first set but then failed to continue their flow as Russia signalled their comeback by winning a closely-fought second set 15-13. But China, with star player Sun Yue, captain Lai Yawen and Su Huijuan playing effectively, stormed back to take the third set 15-7. In an exciting fourth set - in which Russian coach Nikolai Karpol called time out three times - China combined effective blocking and fierce spiking to put out Russia. Meanwhile, Brazil, winners of the last week's Jakarta leg, continued their immaculate form by defeating newcomers Taiwan 15-6, 15-3, 15-11. Brazil's co-ordination and pin-point accuracy proved too much for Taiwan, who are competing at the World Grand Prix for the first time. Taiwan threatened to take the third set after dropping the first two sets when they fought back from 11-3 down to trail 11-12 but the Brazilians took the next three points for victory. Brazil take on Russia while Taiwan challenge China in tonight's matches at the same venue.