Tianjin, China, October 6, 2013 - The big three powerhouses in Asian volleyball - China, Japan and Korea - all clinched comfortable victories in first-day clashes at the Naikai University Sports center in the volleyball competition of the 6th East Asian Games on Sunday.
The volleyball tournament, which kicked off this afternoon and will last until Oct. 13, draws six women's teams and five men's teams, most of which consist of young and promising players.
The women’s teams are divided into two pools with three teams each, and the top two in each pool enter the semifinals, while the five men’s teams will play against each other to decide rankings of the top four for the semifinals.
China beat Chinese Taipei (25-13, 25-18, 25-16)
China's young team, with all the players younger than 20, consisted of players from the national U18 and U19 teams, who grabbed the gold medals at the FIVB Volleyball Championships early this year.
Guided by Xintong Chen's impressive setting, China beat Chinese Taipei in straight sets to take their first victory in Pool A.
From the start of the first set, China left no doubt about their strength. Even though Chinese Taipei tried hard to push China to their limits in the third set, leading once 9-8, China showed their perfect shape as one of the best teams here at the East Asian Games.
China out-spiked their opponents 44-32, overtook Chinese Taipei 7-1 in blocking and 4-1 in serving. Best scorer of the match was China’s192m-high Wang Yunlu with 14 points while caption hen Wan Ting from Chinese Taipei also collected 13 points..
Chinese Taipei showed their potential with several remarkable combinations at the net, but could not hold the pace of China. The much taller young Chinese players were everywhere on the court and combined fast offense with outstanding block and defence skills. On the other hand, Chinese Taipei suffered several blackouts, which cost them essential points. The plot of the game remained the same from the start to the end. China quickly took control of the sets by putting a lot of pressure on the Chinese Taipei. After one hour and 11 minutes, Xu Ruoya hammered the ball down to make it 3-0 for China.
Japan defeated Hong Kong 3-0 (25-13, 25-8,25-11)
In the second match of the day , Japan booked their first victory by sweeping Hong Kong in straight sets in Pool B. Hong Kong tried their best to hold Japan’s pace, leading 4-1 in the first set, but they were unable to cope with the agility and speed Japan displayed on Sunday afternoon.
Based on strong attacking and effective blocks, Japan outclassed their opponents establishing overwhelming differences of 45-15 in the attacking stats and 6-1 in the aces category.
Wing spikers Takahashi Massami and Imamura Yuka led Japan with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Korea downed Hong Kong 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23)
From the beginning of the match, the Korean players from Kyuns Gi University put a lot of pressure on Hong Kong’s defence. Korea proved too strong for their rivals who lost the first set 25-19. The story for the second set did not change, with Korea sailing to their second set win with the same score as the first set.
Mighty attacks from Chinese Taipei’s best scorer Chan Alex Chi Wai and tight defence gave Hong Kong a successful comeback in the third set. Hong Kong took an initial lead and widened their advantage to 21-13 due to their excellent team work. Koreans clawed their way back to close at 20-23 with blocks from Anh Woojae, who led the score chart with 22 points and captain Kim Kyumin who earned 13 points. However, their efforts were short-lived when Hong Kong continued their good performance with attacks by Kwong Ngai Shing Jacky and a drop from Chung Wai Sze, taking the set 25-21.
In the fourth set, both sides exchanged the lead several times. The gap of the scores never exceeded three points. They leveled the scores from 18 to 21 where devastating attacks by Jeong Donggeun and Kim Kyumin gave the Koreans a crucial two points lead at 24-22. Siu Cheong Hung committed a terrible passing blunder ending the nearly one and half hour game in favor of Korea at 25-23.
The results on the opening day are as follows:
Pool A: China vs. Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-16)
Pool B: Japan vs. Hong Kong 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-11)
Korea vs. Hong Kong 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23)
Fixtures of second day
Pool A: China vs. DPR Korea
Pool B; Japan vs. Guam
China vs. Japan