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Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei qualify to the final Round of AVC Continental Cup

China, Japan and Hong Kong men's teams qualified for the final round of AVC Continental Cup
 Nanning, China, December 1, 2011 – The men’s team from Hong Kong and the women’s team from Chinese Taipei clinched the remaining tickets to the final round of the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup after beating their respective opponents to place third while China’s men’s and women’s teams both defeated Japan to claim the top spot at the Eastern Zonal Tournament in Nanning on Thursday.

China, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong took part in the two-day event which kicked off at Nanning International Convention Center on Wednesday. The top three teams – men from China, Japan and Hong Kong, women from China, Japan and Chinese Taipei – now move on to the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup finals next year. The eventual champions will go directly to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With a bad start, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Wai and Wong Kwun Pong lost the opening match to Hsu Chen-Wei and Tseng Chun-Cheng 0-2 (18-21, 16-21). Kwok Wing Ho and Wong Pui Lam then managed to make it a tie by beating Juan Shang-Hsuan and Lee Yao-Tsung 2-1 (16-21, 21-13, 15-9). In the afternoon session, the two pairs exchanged luck. Wong Chun Wai and Wong Kwun Pong sealed a 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) win over Juan and Lee, while Kwok and Wong were defeated by Hsu and Tseng 2-0 (21-16, 21-15). The total score became 2-2, sending the clash to a deciding 15-point “golden set.” Eventually, Wong Chun Wai and Wong Kwun Pong withstood great pressure, sailing to a straightforward 15-13 win over Hsu Chen-Wei and Tseng Chun-Cheng that tipped the scales in favour of Hong Kong.

“I cannot imagine it’s so cold today,” Wong Chun Wai said after winning the match. “But we made full preparation. Our teammates cheered for us and we focused on the match. And I think the tights we wore today also brought us some luck.”

In the match between China and Japan, Xu Linyin and Wu Penggen performed consistently and successively downed the two pairs of Japan, both 2-0. The other China pair, Shun Zhou and Li Jian, lost to Katsuhiro Shiratori and Shinpei Aoki in a very close match 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 21-19) in the morning, but they came out from the loss quickly and took a clear victory against Kentaro Asahi and Keisuke Imai 21-16, 21-13.

In the women’s competition, China reigned supreme after beating Japan 3-1 to finish first while Chinese Taipei defeated Hong Kong 3-1 to claim  third, clinching the last remaining ticket to the finals.

China 1’s Huang Ying and Yue Yuan rallied to edge Japan 2’s Shinako Tanaka and Sayaka Mizoe 2-1 (20-22, 21-19, 15-9) in 54 minutes and China 2’s Zhang Changning and Ma Yuanyuan took 52 minutes to beat Japan 1’s Satoko Urata and Takemi Nishibori 21-13, 17-21, 15-13, helping China to a 2-0 lead.

Despite falling behind, the Japanese girls fought back strongly with Satoko Urata and Takemi Nishibori recovering from a first-set deficit to defeat China’s top pair Huang and Yue 2-1 (14-21, 26-24, 15-12) in a hard-fought 55-minute battle.

But China lived up to their supporters’ expectation as Zhang and Ma saw off Shinako Tanaka and Sayaka Mizoe in straight sets (21-14, 21-17), bringing home a 3-1 win over Japan and showing their superiority in the tournament.

Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong presented a series of tight and exciting matches in their important clash. Hong Kong started well with Wong Yuen Mei and Ng Tin Lai clinching a 2-0 (23-21, 21-15) win over Liu Pi Hsin and Wu Chia Wei of Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei fought back as Chang Hui Min and Kou Nai Han scored two victories – first replying with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-11) victory against Yip Wai Man and Chan Mei Kit in the morning session and then beating Wong Yuen Mei and Ng Tin Lai 2-0 (21-19, 21-9) in the afternoon.

In the last match, Liu Pi Hsin and Wu Chia-Wei managed to spoil powerful challenges from Yip and Chan and took one hour to finish the match with a very close score 2-1 (24-26, 21-16, 15-13), helping the Chinese Taipei women advance to the final round of the AVC Continental Cup.

Results

Men
CHN 3, JPN 1
CHN-1 vs. JPN-2  2-0 (21-10, 21-11)
CHN-2 vs. JPN-1  1-2 (21-15, 19-21, 19-21)
CHN-1 vs. JPN-1  2-0 (21-13, 21-19)
CHN-2 vs. JPN-2  2-0 (21-16, 21-13)

HKG 3, TPE 2
HKG-1 vs. TPE-2  0-2 (18-21, 16-21)
HKG-2 vs. TPE-1  2-1 (16-21, 21-13, 15-9)
HKG-1 vs. TPE-1  2-0 (24-22, 21-18)
HKG-2 vs. TPE-2  0-2 (16-21, 15-21)
HKG-1 vs. TPE-2  1-0 (15-13)

Women
CHN 3, JPN 1
CHN-1 vs. JPN-2  2-1 (20-22, 21-19, 15-9)
CHN-2 vs. JPN-1  2-1 (21-13, 17-21, 15-13)
CHN-1 vs. JPN-1  1-2 (21-14, 24-26, 12-15)
CHN-2 vs. JPN-2  2-0(21-14, 21-17)

HKG 1, TPE 3
HKG-1 vs. TPE-2  2-0 (23-21, 21-15)
HKG-2 vs. TPE-1  0-2 (14-21, 11-21)
HKG-1 vs. TPE-1  0-2 (19-21, 9-21)
HKG-2 vs. TPE-2  1-2 (26-24, 16-21, 13-15)

Final rankings:
Men: 1. China, 2 Japan, 3.Hong Kong, 4. Chinese Taipei
Women: 1. China, 2. Japan, 3. Chinese Taipei, 4. Hong Kong


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