Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 21, 2016 - A huge TV audience in China and amazing support inside the Maracanazinho lifted China through to Olympic gold against Serbia in Saturday's final.
In addition to reclaiming the gold medal 12 years after topping the podium at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the Chinese women’s volleyball team also gathered an incredible viewing audience in the Asian country for their win over Serbia, the first time Olympic finalists.
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According to figures received by the FIVB, CCTV had 70% of the viewing audience - over one billion people - for China’s 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-23) gold medal victory, which was broadcast on China's main TV channel CCTV 1 in addition to its regular sports channel. Feng Kun has been commentating for CCTV for the whole tournament
The support both in the Maracanazinho and in China was amazing - Lang
"I'm very happy to see so many Chinese abroad," China captain Hui Ruoqi said. "It felt like a home court, and we could feel the support back home too."
When asked by a Chinese journalist about how she felt about the amazing support back home through the television audience, China coach Lang Ping said: “The support has been amazing both here and back home and I'd like to thank all the fans who stuck with us through the low moments of Chinese volleyball, through to this moment. At this moment, I felt overwhelming relief and relaxation. I didn't have the strength to jump and cheer. At the end, fatigue took over."
China came into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the third ranked team world and posted one of the tournament’s biggest wins by eliminating twice-defending champions Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Informative graphics formed part of the superb TV coverage of volleyball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
When asked about recapturing China's golden era of volleyball, Lang, who became the first person to win Volleyball gold as a coach and player, said: “In this game we did well but one game is scant measure of team's performance. We are a young team with a long way to go. Many teams are equal to our strength."