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Women s Olympic Games 2004 - Press Conference

Press conference

Japan beat Greece 3-1 (25-10, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22) - duration 1:42
18-Aug, start time: 16:35, end time: 18:17 - Attendance: 5'850
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Japan spoil Greek dream in collecting first win
Japan lifted themselves off the bottom of Pool A and made a big step towards the quarterfinals after beating Greece in four sets, 3-1 (25-10, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Wednesday.

Both teams knew from the beginning that this was the game to win if they really wanted to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Japan startled Greece right from the opening whistle jumping out to a 10-1 lead. It was a margin too big to make up and Greece were never in it. It only took 19 minutes for Japan to wrap up the first set thanks to Tomoko YOSHIKARA, Ai OTOMO, Megumi KURIHARA, who outfoxed the Greek defensive game.

In the second set Greece responded to the Japanese pressure after Sofia IORDANIDOU came off the bench to strengthen the Greek team near the net, while Rouxantra-Kon NTOUMITRESKOU completed some good attacks. The final score of 25-20 found the Greek supporters celebrating in the stands.

However, Japan were determined to ruin the Greek party. In the crucial moments of the third set the Asian team were more focused and took advantage of Greece's faults.

And the scenario did not change in the fourth set either. By this stage Greece were struggling with their game and in the end their team errors, 22 in total, were too many for a side that wants to win a crucial match like this. There was no surprise that Japan took the fourth set and the match in relative ease.

Five players from Japan reached double figures, OTOMO had 16, YOSHIKARA 16, Miyuki TAKAHASHI 15, KURIHARA 14, and Miki SASAKI 10 points while Niki GKARAGKOUNI and Maria GKARAGKOUNI led the hosts' offensive effort with 13 and 12 points respectively.

A win against Kenya (August 22) should give Japan a ticket to the quarterfinals, while Greece's qualification hopes are now dramatically reduced.

ONS sk