Chongqing, China, March 4, 2017 – The “SMM” 11th Asian Girls’ U18 Volleyball Championship is about to take place in Chongqing No. 8 Secondary School Yubei Campus from March 5 to 13, 2017. A total of 11 teams including reigning champions Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Australia, Iran and Samoa will vie in the next nine days for the four tickets to the 2017 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship, which is due to take place in Argentina from August 18 to 27.
At the press conference on Friday, coaches commented on their team’s preparations and prospects at the top-flight nine-day tournament.
Iran’s head coach Majda Cicic: Iran team are very young. It’s the first experience for these girls. I’m so happy, because it’s very important to get this kind of experience for their future. I hope they have great careers. My great expectation is for China team. They have won the Olympic gold medal. A good senior team should have a good young selection. I’m sure that in China, this selection is perfect.”
Korea’s head coach Cho Wanki: Winning is our goal. If all the team members pull together, we can reach the goal. Our powerful opponents are China and Japan.
New Zealand’s head coach Sam Ryburn: Hopefully, we’re just growing and hope to enjoy the tournament, because we’re pretty new to each other company. So we just hopefully get better as we go. We’re lucky to get out of a pool play and be in the midst of top 8. Of course the powerhouse is the Chinese team, very big team. But we will see Japan in the pool round. They are in their best for the last few times. We’d play with them first in the tournament. That’s very exciting.
Japan’s head coach Daichi Saegusa: We want to be the winners, the champions.
Samoa’s head coach Taugali Prithard: I played for New Zealand team in my young days. It was special to me. That’s why I really want to bring these young girls to feel and enjoy the same thing. Samoa is only a small island team. They love to come into the sports, but we’re part of Asia anyway. That’s why we’re here. It could be enough to compete with these professional players, just to see how it comes. It depends on the day. Maybe, someday you play good and maybe someday you play not so good. It depends. Just see how it goes. Of course Japan and China are the most powerful teams. But we’ll try our best, because we’re in the same pool with Japan and New Zealand.
Australia’s head coach Boris Georgieff: This is the first time that we come to Chongqing. And this is the first time our players come to China. We hope to be competitive. We’re looking forward to the challenge from China and Japan, the very, very strong sides. And we are not as good as those teams but we hope to fight and play well and to challenge the other teams. The good results for us will be probably somewhere in the middle of the title.