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Women's volleyball team are favorites for sports personality award

By Sun Xiaochen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-10-27 18:31

Fresh from winning gold at this summer's Olympic Games, the national women's volleyball team has emerged as the favorites for the 2016 CCTV Sports Personality Awards.

The team's never-say-die attitude that carried them through to victory in August has earned them praise from around China and as the annual awards opened for nominations on Wednesday, the squad were pitched by fans and the media to win in at least three categories, including Team of the Year and Coach of the Year for head coach Lang Ping.

"I hope we can end up with a big haul this year at the final awards ceremony, I especially want to see both the coach and my teammate Zhu Ting win individual awards," said Wei Qiuyue, the team's veteran setter, at the awards launch ceremony on Wednesday.

"I am very honored and delighted to see our team earn so much attention and credit after the Olympics. It shows the public recognition of the team's spirit of resilience and tenaciousness that has been passed on from the senior generation of volleyball teams since the 1980s."

The national women's volleyball team won five consecutive world titles between 1981 and 1986, including two World Cups, two world championships and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The team won its second Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games.

Other teams expected to do well at the prestigious awards due to their strong performances at this year's Games include China's table tennis teams, diving squads and track cycling teams.

The first phase of voting for the awards begins on Nov 24 and ends on Dec 11.

Categories include Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.

About 400 judges from all of China's sporting circles will take part in the vote, with the final decision to be made on Jan 15.

A grand awards ceremony will then be held at the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, after the final votes have been cast.

"The voting and final awards ceremony serve to highlight China's sporting successes throughout the year. Hopefully, this event can inspire greater participation in sports," said Fang Gang, deputy director of China Central Television's Sports Channel.

Staff from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Beijing offices will audit the voting process.

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