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China, Japan qualify for final round of AVC Continental Cup

The competition courts at the Eastern Zonal Tournament of the AVC Continental Cup held at the Nanning International Convention Center in China
Nanning, China, November 30, 2011 – The men’s and women’s teams from hosts China as well as Japan clinched their tickets to the final round of the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup after beating their opponents Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong respectively on the opening day of the Eastern Zonal Tournament in Nanning on Wednesday.

China and Japan will meet to contest top spot on Thursday while Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong will now battle it out for third place and the last remaining ticket to the finals. The eventual champions will go directly to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the men’s edition, China downed Chinese Taipei 4-0 while Japan defeated Hong Kong 3-1.

Xu Linyin and Wu Penggen, China’s top duo ranked eighth in the world, opened with a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Hsu Chen-Wei and Tseng Chun-Cheng of Chinese Taipei. Zhou Shun and Li Jian then followed with an easy 21-14, 21-12 win over Juan Shang-Hsuan and Lee Yao-Tsung of Chinese Taipei, giving China a 2-0 lead in the morning session. The host players continued their momentum in the afternoon with Xu/Wu downing Juan and Lee 21-7, 21-9 and Zhou/Li beating Hsu/Tseng 21-12, 16-21, 15-12.

In the match between Japan and Hong Kong, Katsuhiro Shiratori and Shinpei Aoki of Japan’s 1 dominated Kwok Wing Ho  and Wong Pui Lam of Hong Kong’s 2 with a 21-8, 21-14 victory. But Kentaro Asahi and Keisuke Imai of Japan’s 2 was not so lucky. In an uncharacteristic performance they lost to Wong Chun Wai and Wong Kwun Pong of Hong Kong’s 1 in 21-15, 14-21, 15-9.

But the afternoon session saw Japan give little hope to Hong Kong. Katsuhiro Shiratori and Shinpei Aoki of Japan avenged their teammates by beating Wong Chun Wai and Wong Kwun Pong 21-9, 21-10. And Kentaro Asahi and Keisuke Imai also adjusted their condition quickly, prevailing 21-14, 21-19 over Kwok Wing Ho and Wong Pui Lam, thus helping Japan a 3-1 win over Hong Kong.

In the women’s competition, China beat Chinese Taipei 3-1 while Japan trounced Hong Kong 4-0.

Hunag Ying and Yue Yuan of China, 24th in the FIVB world ranking, opened the competition with an easy victory over Liu Pi Hsin and Wu Chia Wei of Chinese Taipei 21-8, 21-12, while Chinese Taipei’s top pair Chang Hui Min and Kou Nai Han took 55 minutes to edge China 2’s Zhang Changning and Ma Yuanyuan in a very close match 21-19, 17-21, 15-13.

However, home tandem Zhang and Ma concentrated harder in the afternoon session, beating Liu and Wu of Chinese Taipei in straight sets 21-15, 21-9. Huang Ying and Yue Yuan, though meeting some difficulties, managed to seal a 21-17, 21-14 win over Chang Hui Min and Kou Nai Han.

“Zhang Changning and Ma Yuanyuan are young, especially Zhang who is only 15 years old. The inconsistence of their performance is normal. Besides, the pair of Chinese Taipei is not weak at all,” said Wang Jianping, team manager of the Chinese beach volleyball team, “I hope they can learn experience from the lost and perform better in the following matches.”

Compared with China, the performance of Japan’s pairs was much more synchronized in the morning session. Satoko Urata and Takemi Nishibori took an easy 21-9, 21-5 win over Yip Wai Man and Chan Mei Kit of Hong Kong on the main court, while Shinako Tanaka and Sayaka Mizoe defeated Wong Yuen Mei and NG Tin Lai also in straight sets 21-10, 21-14, which helped Japan build a 2-0 lead in the morning session.

Japan’s women took little time in obtaining their victory in the afternoon competition. Satoko Urata and Takemi Nishibori continued their excellent performance and downed Wong Yuen Mei and NG Tin Lai 21-12, 21-10. Shinako Tanaka and Sayaka Mizoe showed no mercy, beating Yip Wai Man and Chan Mei Kit China 21-8, 21-13.

Results:
Men
CHN 4, TPE 0
CHN-1 vs. TPE-2  2-0 (21-17, 21-17)
CHN-2 vs. TPE-1  2-0 (21-14, 21-12)
CHN-1 vs. TPE-1  2-0 (21-7, 21-9)
CHN-2 vs. TPE-2  2-1 (21-12, 16-21, 15-12)

JPN 3, HKG 1
JPN-1 vs. HKG-2  2-0 (21-8, 21-14)
JPN-2 vs. HKG-1  1-2 (15-21, 21-14, 9-15)
JPN-1 vs. HKG-1  2-0 (21-9, 21-10)
JPN-2 vs. HKG-2  2-0 (21-14, 21-19)

Women
CHN 3, TPE 1
CHN-1 vs. TPE-2  2-0 (21-8, 21-12)
CHN-2 vs. TPE-1  1-2 (19-21, 21-17, 13-15)
CHN-1 vs. TPE-1  2-0 (21-17, 21-14)
CHN-2 vs. TPE-2  2-0(21-15, 21-9)

JPN 4, HKG 0
JPN-1 vs. HKG-2  2-0 (21-9, 21-5)
JPN-2 vs. HKG-1  2-0 (21-10, 21-14)
JPN-1 vs. HKG-1  2-0 (21-12, 21-10)
JPN-2 vs. HKG-2  2-0 (21-8, 21-13)


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