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Japanese women win gold at 2014 Asian Eastern Zonal Championship

Japan celebrate victory after beating China in the final of the Asian Eastern Zonal Women's Volleyball Championship

Hong Kong, China, July 6, 2014 – Japan entertained the crowd with a straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-15) victory over China in the final of the Asian Eastern Zonal Women’s Volleyball Championship 2014 at the Ma On Shan Sports Centre on Sunday.

Japan and China fought hard for every point in the first and second sets but the Japanese adapted to the Chinese tactics and unleashed a counter-attack that left the latter subdued in the end. The first set favoured the Chinese side with a surmountable lead but later on Japan tied the score at 15-all.

Japan exploited the weaknesses of the Chinese players and adjusted accordingly in unleashing their offensive tactics. China were helpless when Japan used its quick and backrow attacks to fasten their control of the third set and match.

Chinese captain Zhang Yungyi commended her team’s performance but admitted that there is still room for improvement as the team became unresponsive in difficult offensive situations put on by the opposing side.

“I think we did a fair job,” Zhang said. “Still, there are areas that we need to improve especially our blocking and the variety of our attacks.”

Chinese Taipei claimed third place after defeating Korea 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 25-15). Both teams read each other’s plays, resulting to a close fight to the delight of the crowd. Chinese Taipei, however, played better on defence and offence that helped them secure the first set 25-19.

Korea made better progress in the second set, showcasing their excellent defence to overcome see-saw situations with the Chinese Taipei side. Korea started to widen the scoring gap but Chinese Taipei reacted quickly and scored four points to cut the lead 20-23. Korea somehow coped well and took the second set 25-21.

In the next two sets, Chinese Taipei reinstated their dominance on defence at the net and their spikes. Chinese Taipei captain Chen Wan Ting impressed the crowd with her heroic performance from the attack line that secured them the third place victory.

In another match, Hong Kong controlled tempo of the match to secure a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-15) over Macau. The Hong Kong team attacked and blocked well to outplay Macau to lodge its dominance throughout the match. In the third set, Hong Kong scored eight straight points to end the tournament in fifth place.

The competition ended with an awarding ceremony where China captain Zhang and Japan coach Fujii Masahiro were awarded Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Coach, respectively.

Mr Cai Yi, chairman of the AVC Eastern Zone and Dr Eom Han Joo, technical delegate for the championship, extended their appreciation to the Volleyball Association of Hong Kong, China for the excellent hosting of the championship.

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