Wed, 19 May 2021

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China coach Jia Xiuquan vows to prepare fully after tough Olympic draw.

SUZHOU, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's national women's team head coach Jia Xiuquan said on Wednesday that his team will prepare fully for the Tokyo Olympics from now on, after a tough draw for the Games paired China in Group F with Brazil, the Netherlands and Zambia.

All 12 teams were split into three groups, with Japan, the Netherlands and the United States as the top seeds. The top two finishers in each group and the two best third-placed finishers will move into the knockout stages.

"We didn't imagine before the draw," said Jia, "but we will collect the information according to the draw from now on."

Jia, who took over the team in 2018 and steered the Steel Roses to the elimination phase in the 2019 World Cup, noted that women's football had changed a lot in recent years.

"The teams from Africa are emerging, along with the traditional powerhouses, but we are also a good team."

"Just like the World Cup two years ago, they all said we were in a Group of Death, but we eventually advanced with good performances, so we expect a better result based on that," Jia added.

"We have dreams in Tokyo, we're not just there for the ride," Jia emphasized. "Our girls are eager to showcase their technique skills, tactical ability and the mentality of Chinese people as well."

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China will kick off the tournament against Brazil on July 21, before taking on Zambia and the Netherlands.

"I want to win all the games, but a victory is earned by hard work, not imagination. The three teams have different styles, so we should fully prepare," said Jia.

Wang Shuang, who took the center stage in the two-legged playoff against South Korea, said she thought China had a good draw.

"Nice," Wang commented. "No matter whether we are in Group F or G, we are not afraid of anyone, even the World Cup winners. We expect an opening victory."

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