The Chinese Volleyball Association announced the formation of the new National Volleyball Team for 2008 Olympics and has already made a detail schedule for the team's preparations.
The list includes a total of 18 players, but only 14 players will join the training camp, lasting more than 200 days. The Chinese team will begin the training on January 18 in Beijing, and the training plan is divided into three stages in preparing for the Olympic Games. The first stage is from January 18 to March 15 for the basic technical training and the team will visit Italy and Cuba for several warm-up matches in early March. From March 16 to May 27, the Chinese national team will concentrate on the coordination of the players, and will arrange warm-up matches against Germany and Australia. The third stage will last from May 28 to July 22, during which the team will participate in the 2008 World league.
Head coach Zhou Jianan said the Chinese team has not qualified for the Olympic Games since 1984, and this time we have the good chance to participate the Olympics in our home. "We are very excited and at the same time also feel great pressures on us." Zhou admitted that the Chinese team can not enter the top three in the Olympic Games as they have great gap with the strong teams in the world. But "We will do our utmost to show our people the team's fighting spirits, fair play and performance. We are determined to try our best to enter the top eight, which is very difficult but is not impossible if we play our best form."
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