Chinese star spiker Zhu vows to be 'stronger'

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Zhu Ting [File photo] 

Chinese star spiker and Olympic champion Zhu Ting vowed to become stronger in the upcoming new year as the volleyball prodigy was selected to the world top 10 athletes of 2016 by Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.

Zhu, who had been named Rio Olympics MVP and Best Outside Hitter by FIVB for her stellar performance in China's victory at the Olympics for the second time in 13 years, was also named one of the top 10 Chinese athletes of 2016 by Xinhua.

"I am really honored to be selected. I think I have done pretty well this year, particularly at the Rio Games," said the 22-year-old outside spiker, who is now playing with Turkey's Vakifbank club. "Actually I was kind of struggling at the beginning of the Games, but fortunately I could play better and better thanks to the help and encouragement from Jenny Lang Ping, my coach, and my teammates."

However, Zhu only gave herself a mark of 65 points out of 100 for her performance this year while she believed there was still a lot of room for improvement.

"Yes, there is room, I can be stronger," Zhu said.

"I have learned a lot from my teammates and the top level professional players in the Turkish league since joining the Vakifbank club. Hopefully my team will get better physically and technically so that we can be well prepared for the challenge ahead," Zhu added.

Zhu has been widely considered as the best Chinese outside hitter since Lang Ping, the women's volleyball MVP in the 1984 Olympics and the first person, male or female, to have won gold at the Olympics both as a player and as a coach.

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