2020 Summer Olympics

Zhu Ting, Lang Ping and China women’s volleyball team hit the gym as they prepare for Nations League in Hong Kong

The world’s highest paid player rejoins the Olympic champions as they prepare to do battle against Japan, Italy and Argentina at the Coliseum

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 7:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 9:29pm

Within hours of stepping off a flight from Beijing, Chinese star spiker, Zhu Ting, rejoined her China teammates for the latest leg of the FIVB women’s Volleyball Nations League next week in Hong Kong – and wasted no time hitting the gym.

The world’s highest paid player, whose annual salary with Turkish club Vakifbank Istanbul exceeds HK$12 million, has bolstered the China team, who on Thursday night lost to Serbia 3-1 in their last match in the previous leg of the competition in Macau. China have so far won three matches and lost three after two legs of the competition, putting them eighth in the ranking list.

“Zhu Ting has been resting for two weeks but she flew from Beijing to join her teammates in Hong Kong after having a successful season in Turkey. The rest of the China team arrived this morning from Macau,” said a spokesman with the China national team.

China factor enough to lure Hong Kong volleyball fans to women’s Nations League, say organisers

The 23-year-old Zhu, who led China to gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 earning her the MVP award, is one of the world’s top volleyball players, and will be backed to the hilt by her adoring fans when she leads the Chinese team at the Coliseum in Hung Hom, starting on May 29 (Tuesday to Thursday).

China coach Jenny Lang Ping fielded a young team in Macau, resting Zhu for wing spiker Liu Xiaotong and included youngsters Duan Fang and Lin Li on the starting list.

Lang also decided to rest up-and-coming 18-year-old spiker Li Yingying in Macau but the youngster could get her chance to shine in Hong Kong next week.

China’s only volleyball player abroad earns a whopping HK$12 million a year in Turkey

The Volleyball Nations League is a new 16-team competition set up by the FIVB, the sport’s governing body, and replaces the long-running World Grand Prix. The inaugural competition started this month and runs until July 2018 with the final round taking place in Nanjing, China.

The mainland giants will be joined in the field by Japan, Italy and Argentina in Hong Kong.

It’s the first time a major volleyball competition in Hong Kong will not be held over the weekend but tickets are expected to be in high demand at 12,000-seat Coliseum.

China have a huge fan base in Hong Kong with thousands expected to chant the Chinese players’ names. The city also remains a happy hunting ground for the three-time Olympic champions who have a record second to none at the Coliseum.