Macau, China, June 16, 2016 – The four participating teams in Pool D1 of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix – Belgium, Brazil, China and Serbia – met with the media on Thursday at the pre-event press conference.
The event organised by the Sports Bureau of the Macau SAR Government and Volleyball Association of Macau, China, and presented by Galaxy Entertainment Group will kick off on June 17 at the Macau Forum.
Mr Pun Weng Kun, president of Sports Bureau of the Macau SAR Government and president of the Organising Committee, expressed his sincere gratitude for the continuous trust and support by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) over the years. He also expressed his confidence that volleyball fans will witness some wonderful matches played by the four teams in the next few days and wished them the best of luck.
The coaches then shared their thoughts and expectations for the Macau leg of the tournament.
“We are delighted to return to Macau and we would like to thank the Organising Committee for providing us such great facilities,” China coach Lang Ping said. “This time we are playing against two-time reigning Olympic champions Brazil, as well as two European powerhouses Belgium and Serbia. I wish my team, with our young players, can play a great on a great level, to learn more from the competing teams and to get well prepared for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
“I am very happy to be in Macau again since we last came here in 2011,” Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes. “We are fifty days away from the start of the Olympic Games and we are here to prepare for the Games by playing our best against China, Belgium and Serbia.”
“It is great to be in China, especially in Macau,” Belgium coach Gert Vande Broek said. “This will be a very tough weekend against three of the strongest teams in the world. We did not qualify for the Olympics, but we can take this opportunity to learn a lot from these three medal-contending teams. We did not play to our best level in Russia last weekend; however, we will take the lessons from those games and will seriously compete with the other three teams this weekend.”
“We are happy to be here in such an amazing city,” Serbia coach Zoran Terzic said. “We are in an interesting group with China, Brazil and Belgium, probably the best group in this year’s World Grand Prix. All three matches will be very challenging for the Serbia team, we will try our best to win all the games.”
The tournament starts on Friday, June 17 with the match of Brazil and Serbia at 8:00 GMT, a rematch from last weekend when Brazil won in straight sets in Rio de Janeiro. The match of China and Belgium then follows at 12:00 GMT, with the hosts welcoming back Hui Ruoqi, who was named MVP at the Montreux Volley Masters earlier this month. These two teams also met at the same tournament where China won 3-0.
Tickets for the matches are in hot demand, with those for the final day, June 19, already sold out and a limited number remaining for the matches on June 17 and 18. The remaining tickets are on sale at the Macau Forum two hours before each match day.
Volleyball fans worldwide are looking forward to witness the exciting competition as the teams are contesting for the title and gearing up for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.