Uroumieh, Iran, August 5 , 2010 – World No.46 India and world No.39 caused major upsets in the quarterfinals of the Second Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship on Thursday as they defeated world No. 16 Korea and world No.31 Australia to book their places in the semifinals.
Some 7,000 Iranian Volleyball fans packed into Ghadir Stadium to watch the Asian Men's Cup Championship
The Championship resumed competition after a rest day on Wednesday with the quarterfinal stage. In the battle to for the top four positions, host Iran downed Japan 3-0 (25-24, 25-16, 25-22), China trounced Kazakhstan 3-1 (25-19,23-25,25-22,29-27), India upset Korea 3-2 (23-25, 25-12, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11) and Chinese Taipei edged Australia 3-2 (23-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23, 21-19).
In the first match of the day, Chinese Taipei took on the taller Australian team and got off to a dismal start, losing the first two sets. Australia’s Roberts Nathan and Edgar Thomas both piled on the pressure to break the opponent’s defense. However Chinese Taipei’s game raised after that and they went on the rampage, picking up the next two sets to take the game to a tie-break. Chinese Taipei managed to keep their momentum going throughout to send the Australian’s crashing out of the tournament.
“Tall height is not important but skill is important,” Fei Chia Chi, coach of Chinese Taipei, said. “We were not good during the first two sets. When the opposite team is doing well, we had a feeling of stress. Our team is young. When rival team plays well we counter with some stress. Individual hits and services were not good. We were expecting closer play. Australian players were good in attack and service. They gave us pressure in the match.”
India followed in Chinese Taipei’s footsteps by sending another Asian powerhouse in Korea out of the competition in five sets. Right from the beginning, Shin Young-Soo, who was the best scorer for the Korean team with 26 points, put pressure on the India squad, leading all the way to the second technical time-out when some brilliant combinations from 10-16 to 20-20 raised India’s hopes of reaching their goal. But a few unforced errors in pressure situations allowed the Koreans back into contention. The Korean players were overjoyed when they wrapped up the first set with a 25-23 win. The Indian players came back strong however, taking the next two sets before fatigue set in, allowing Korea to come back into the match to take it to a tie-break. India regrouped and despite the immense pressure, controlled the set to pick up a memorable win.
“It was a good match,” India coach G.E.Sridharan said. “In set five we were wonderful. Our defenders worked well in the set. So, we stepped to the top four.”
In the other matches, host Iran continued their winning streak by beating Asian champions Japan in straight sets in 79 minutes in front 7,700 fans. After Iran won the an exciting first set by a very narrow margin, the defending champions played on steadily to win the second set. The third set saw Japan put on a solid display but it was not enough and powerful spikes from Iran helped them clinch the win.
“We were weak in service while the receptions of Iran were very good,” Japan coach Mr. Sako Noriaki said. “Our young players are without international experience, and the large number of spectators were good supporters for home team"
“Thanks for the lovely spectators,” Maadani, Iran coach said. “My players did an excellent job today. They are wonderful and everyone is better than no one. So I cannot name which one is the star player .All of them are best. Our team has reached an ideal place.”
In the second match of the day, the mighty China played superbly against the taller Kazakhstan, with Chen Ping, the top scorer for China with 22 points and Cui Jianjun spiking spectacularly at the net. The team used their offensive combination of blocks and deadly spikes to claim a comfortable 3-1 win over their rivals. Thought Kazakhstan took the second set and led once in the third set, the Chinese defense system proved too strong for their opponents offensive actions. China eventually finished the match and got their well-deserved ticket to the semifinals.
“All eight teams here are the top teams of Asia,” Zhou Jian’an coach of China said. “We knew this would be tough match for us. So we had prepared ourselves for the challenge. As you see in every match we do our best, the Kazakhstan team is a good team. We suffered big pressure from this game. They were good in attack and service.”
Fixtures for August 6
Playoff for the 5th to 8th: JPN vs. KOR, AUS vs. KAZ
Playoff for the 1st to 4th: IRI vs. IND, TPE vs. CHN
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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