“We started badly. Then we found our rhythm. We knew this match would be difficult. The Americans have a great defence that gives their game a lot of volume. We got better during the match, but it was not enough. Now, we need to try harder, there is still a lot of competition ahead”, said a disappointed Sheilla following the match.
It was a good start for the Americans who are going for their third consecutive gold medal in the competition. But they won’t be able to count on FIVB Hero Destinee Hooker, who is staying behind in the U.S. in order to train for the Olympic Games.
In the sequence of today’s matches, it was time for another FIVB Hero to shine! And Neslihan Darnel was the shining light. With 27 points, including 5 blocks and 1 ace, she led her team to victory in Turkey’s first appearance in a World Grand Prix Finals. Darnel and her teammates beat Thailand 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 26-24).
In the last game, hosts China used the energy from their fans, who packed the gym, and showed their calibre, beating Cuba with an important 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-17) victory. The win secured them first place in the standings, on an equal 3 points with Turkey but with a better set ratio.
Standings: 1. China 3 pts, 2. Turkey 3 pts, 3. USA 2 pts, 4. Brazil 1 pt, 5. Thailand 0 pts, 6. Cuba 0 pts
This is just the beginning! Stay tuned to find out how our FIVB Heroes will do in the coming days!