not sure where to ask this (pls let me know if off topic and will delete the comment) but thought Chinatown here would be best to start this discussion…. for longtime fans of the sport, how would you say China NT’s style of play or favored players has changed in the past 20 years?
I was watching the Athens 2004 final (triggered by Julian Chow ‘s shared newspaper clipping!) and was struck by how much they utilized the middle, and just how explosive/fearless the players were. Maybe it’s just hindsight (and the slow frame rate/poor quality of video), but nowadays, every time the girls walk on court, they look so frail. And the MBs today just do not have the same confidence I felt the MBs of yonder had… I mean, look at the MBs during the last VNL. With that in mind and comparing with the Athens 2004 team. Um…
anyway, keen to hear all your thoughts. I’ve only been following the sport more closely post 2012, so I want to hear from the more knowledgeable!
I think the NT coaches have preferred taller players in recent years. Bigger players are generally not as mobile and quick and are less adept at fast attack and combination plays.....which the 2004 team used to overcome their much bigger opponents. The team also had several outstanding players, eg. setter Feng Kun, MB Liu Yanan, and OP Zhou Suhong to name a few. Zhou is 5’11” yet she is strong at hitting and blocking and has an effective jump serve. In the gold medal match against Russia, she faced 6’8” Gamova across the net, but she was undaunted.
Some of our players do indeed look weak and some muscle would help but I think it is ok for them to be slim but still strong. Just look at Egonu and Turkish player, Boz ! I’ve seen these two in real life and they look even slimmer than when they appear online or on tv.
We used to have a big and strong looking player....Wang Yimei ! Don’t know if you remember her