China won their first Olympic gold medal since Athens 2004 and third overall having also been crowned Olympic champions in Los Angeles 1984, when Lang Ping was part of the playing roster
Beijing, China, January 16, 2017 – The Chinese women’s national team reaped four prestigious honours from China’s Central Television (CCTV) Sports Awards gala on Sunday.
Lang Ping is the first person to win the Olympic gold medal in volleyball both as coach and player. The legendary coach was in high spirits at the awards night and jested on their lacklustre start at Rio 2016.
“It was a little torturous at the Olympics,” Lang Ping said. “I hope my players won’t torture me anymore.”
Lang Ping highlighted her team's win over hosts and defending champions Brazil in the quarterfinals as their confidence booster, which led them to win their third Olympic gold medal.
Lang Ping and her team have won the awards for three consecutive years. On the other hand, it was Zhu’s second time to be nominated for the best female athlete category.
Zhu was China’s key player at Rio 2016, where she was honoured as the Most Valuable Player in women’s volleyball after leading all scorers with 179 points. Zhu, who is currently playing for Turkish club Vakifbank Instanbul, was not able to receive her award but the Chinese volleyball star sent a message on video to the audience.
“The year 2016 was full of happiness and it was unforgettable for me,” Zhu said. “I want to say thanks to our coach, our team and our fans. I will be better in 2017.”
Zhu also helped Vakifbank Istanbul to win bronze at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship in Manila, Philippines last year.