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China, Korea and Thailand remain unbeaten at Asian Women Cup Championship

Japan dig for the ball during their victory over Chinese Taipei on Monday
Taicang, China, September 21, 2010 – The top four Asian teams had a field day on day two of the preliminary round at the second Asian Women’s Cup Volleyball Championship as China, Korea and Thailand all picking up their second victories and Japan claiming its first win of the tournament on Monday in Taicang, China.
The Championship will help decide who qualifies for the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix in addition to China and Japan who have already secured their tickets to next year’s competition. The fifth Asian qualifier will face a play-off match with an African team with the winner also qualifiying.
Japan recovered from their 3-0 loss to Thailand on Sunday as they scored a dramatic 3-1(25-18, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23) win over Chinese Taipei in one hour and 41 minutes.
Japan and Chinese Taipei started by exchanging heavy spikes, leveling the score from one all to seven all. The set seemed to be a tit-for-tat battle but Japan surged ahead after the first TTO and then increased their lead to 20-15 due to four powerful spikes from Miyu Nagaoka before Chinese Taipei’s captain Teng Yen Min handed the Japanese the early lead after her attack failed to penetrate the double block.
The second set was tight as Chinese Taipei fought back and they narrowly picked up the victory, bringing the game even.
Japan gradually toughened up their defense and counter-attacks together with effective blocking in the third and they eventually regained the lead before sealing the match following four attacking errors from Chinese Taipei in the fourth.
Miyu Nagaoka scored a match-high 24 points for Japan and her teammates Yuki Ishikawa and Asuka Minamoto added 14 and 13 points respectively while Tsai Yin Feng scored 19 points for Chinese Taipei while Chen Wan Ting contributed another 17 points.

“Chinese Taipei is very strong and participated in the FIVB Grand Prix while our team is a young one so we came into the match to challenge them,” Kiyoshi Abo, coach of Japan, said.
“We made some mistakes, especially in the crucial moments,” Norimasa Sakakuchi, coach of Chinese Taipei, said. “The coordination of our team and defense is not as good as expected.”
The second match between Korea and Iran was a lop-sided affair. Korea fielded three players whose height was 1.90 meters while the tallest player for Iran was just 1.85 meters. However, the Iranians played with a never- give-up spirit in the third set. They fought bravely and led their opponents twice at 12-11 and 14-12. However they struggled to come to terms with Korea who eventually sealed an easy win.
“I am satisfied with the performance by our team, and we learned a lot in the Championship,” Sedighi Sima, coach of Iran, said.
“We save our power in today’s match in order to play against China tomorrow,” Park Sam-Ryong, coach of Korea, said. “We are not the best now, but if our serving is effective, it is possible to defeat China as Korea and China are on the same level.’
In the third match of the day, Thailand blasted their way to a second 3-0 win to extend their perfect record to 2-0. The game started with Thailand’s Sittirak Onuma and Apinyapong Wilavan and Vietnam’s Do Thi Minh exchanging heavy spikes. Thailand went 8-5 up at the first TTO before surging ahead to 19-14. With the Thai attackers consistent in attacking, Thailand led through the first set.
Vietnam still could not find a solution to the prolific Sittirak Onuma who helped her team to rally from 10-13 to 18-16 with seven points from spiking. Vietnam struggled at the net, committing too many errors as Thailand clinched the set 25-20 after Kanthong Malika delivered a fast attack.

Vietnam seemed to lose their form and fighting spirit in the third as the Thai contingent collected a healthy cushion of six points, enlarging their lead at 15-14 before seeing out the match.

Defending champions China led the contention for the top honour of the event after beating Kazakhstan in straight-sets. It took China 70 minutes to gain their second victory, claiming a 25-16, 25-21 and 25-22 win.
Wang Yimei scored 13 points, 11 spikes and two aces, to lead the Chinese team, followed by Li Juan’s 11 points.
After taking the first two sets with ease, China experienced a downturn as Kazakhstan surged to a convincing 5-1 lead at the start of the third and extended the lead to 8-2 due to the powerful attacking from captain Tatyana Pyurova, forcing China coach Yu Juemin to call a timeout. But the situation did not change as China continued to make errors. lagging at 4-11 Yu had to call the timeout again to stop Kazakhstan’s surge.
“Rallying back in the third is a valuable experience for us, and I am satisfied with that,” Yu Juemin said after the match. “Kazakhstan is a strong team over the net, and we have big room for improvement in blocking”
The last day of the preliminary round sees Kazakhstan face Iran, Chinese Taipei play against Thailand, Vietnam vs. Japan and China taking Korea.
Pool A
Iran vs. Korea 0-3 (18-25, 14-25, 23-25)
China vs.. Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-22)
Pool B
Japan VS. Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-18, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23)
Thailand vs. Vietnam 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-17)
Standing (tabulated under matches played, won, lost, points)
Pool A
1. China                  2     2     0     4
2. Korea                 2     2     0     4
3. Kazakhstan        2      0     2     2
4. Iran                     2      0     2     2
Pool B
1. Thailand              2      2     0     4
2. Chinese Taipei    2      1     1     3
3. Japan                  2      1     1     3
4. Vietnam              2      0     2     2

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