Beijing, China, September 27, 2004 - China successfully retained the top honor at the 12th Asian Junior Women's Volleyball Championship after crushing Japan in straight sets in the final on Sunday in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The 25-16, 25-22,25-20 victory gave China their sixth Asian Junior Championship title since 1992.
The final between China and Japan turned out to be a one-sided battle, which was totally unexpected, as Japan had defeated China 3-1 in the group stage of the tournament. But in the final for the gold medal, the taller Chinese girls showed strong attacking power and an incredible blocking ability to limit Japan's offensive game.
In the third place play-off match, Korea, who finished fourth in the last edition in 2002, beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17).
The tournament drew a total of nine teams from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The nine teams were divided into two groups for the preliminary round.
Korea topped Group A with an unbeaten record, followed by Chinese Taipei who suffered only one loss (at the hands of Korea). In Group B, Japan, who finished a poor fifth in the last edition, unexpectedly defeated China, pushing the defending champions into second in the group. Thailand, runners-up in 2002, placed only third in Group A, and were knocked out of the top four.
In the semifinals, China and Japan overpowered Korea and Chinese Taipei both in straight sets.
The final rankings: 1. China, 2. Japan, 3. Korea, 4. Chinese Taipei, 5. Thailand, 6. Australia, 7. India, 8. Sri Lanka, 9. Maldives.
CHN-KOR 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-17)
JPN-TPE 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-20)
Third place play off:
KOR-TPE 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17)
CNH-JPN 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20)