Tianjin, China, October 12, 2013 - Host China underlined their supremacy in the women’s tournament at the 6th East Asian Games after pulling off a stunning straight-set 3-0 (25-23, 27-25 and 25-19) victory against Japan in a thrilling hard-fought final showdown here on Saturday.
Against the much shorter but determined Japan, who outclassed DPR Korea in a semifinal 3-1, China’s head coach Dong Ruijun fielded a strong and tall line-up, with the average height reaching 189 cm.
In front of enthusiastic spectators at Nankai University Sports Center, the two teams offered a great volleyball show, with powerful attacks from China and outstanding defences from Japan.
China succeeded in making a solid barrier against Japan through their tight blocks and devastating attacks, while Japan came into their own in the first set when they used their combinations of splendid defence and drops. The two teams fought evenly from start to 23 points, all when a wide serve by Japan and a powerful hit by wing spiker Xu Ruoya sealed the set for China 25-23.
Conceding one set, Japan tried harder to gather their confidence in playing a tough match against the host side and a large crowd of the home fans, boisterously cheering their team all the way. They surged to a 8-2 lead in the first technical timeout of second set. However, Japan could not resist the powerful Chinese, who came back gradually, with both teams fighting hard for every point and the scores evened from 11-11 until 25-25 when 192 cm high spiker Wang Yunlu grabbed the last two points with lightening attacks to take the exciting closely-contested set 27-25.
In the third set, Japan had trouble with their defence. Under great pressure they could not apply their strategy, losing their persistence and making more errors. On the other, China remained in superb form, foiling all Japan’s determined attempts, and continued to put consistent pressure on the Japanese. They blocked well and sent their attacks away from the Japanese blockers. China got hot at the right time, scoring five points in a row to finish the set 25-19 and the 90 minutes match.
Both China and Japan had three players reaching double figures. China’s Wang Yunlu led the way with 19. Xu Ruoya contributed 15 points, followed by Zheng Yixin with 11. Japanese Imamura Yukawas topped their squad with 15. Terai Yumi and Takahashi Masami finished with 11 apiece. The Chinese scored with 11 blocks against Japan’ five while the Chinese side had the small advantage from the service line 3-2.
Chinese Taipei beat Guam in straight sets to finish fifth in the six-team women’s tournament on Thursday. According to the organizing committee's arrangement, the women’s playoff for the bonze medal match between DPR Korea and Hong Kong is arranged as the tournament last match, to play on Sunday after the men’s gold medal match.