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China, Japan to face off in Asian Youth Girls' finale

 
Sarina Koga finished with 16 points against Korea
 
Shuangliu, China, October 20, 2012 - Hosts China and defending champions Japan forged a championship duel on Friday by defeating their respective opponents in the semifinal round at the 2012 Asian Youth Girls’ Championship.

China snatched the first slot to the final with a 3-0 win (25-14, 25-19, 25-12), against Chinese Taipei at the Shuangliu Sports Centre on Friday. The tall Chinese lineup clearly dominated their opponents at the onset. Yuan Xinyue covered the middle, Wang Yunlu operated from the left, and Hu Mingyuan connected with shifty slide attacks. The Chinese Taipei girls were able to score on several plays but their offensive power was not enough to consistently penetrate the Chinese blockers’ stance.

The host team are aiming for their fifth title, to add to previous achievements in the 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 editions of the tournament.

The 2010 titleholders Japan will also look to clinch title number five, as they booked the other ticket to the championship match with a straight-sets victory against Korea (26-24, 25-13, 25-17). Japan struggled through a difficult first set as they misfired from the service line and they lagged in defence. Meanwhile, Korea built momentum with their attacks from Lee Hanbi at the wing and Kang Sohwi in the middle. Japanese setter Airi Tahara persisted in her orchestration, however, enabling Sarina Koga and Misaki Shirai to power the team’s offence. The two Japanese hitters combined for a total of 28 points to power the four-time titlists to another shot at the championship.

Japan emerged as champions in the first edition in 1997, and later in 2007, 2008, and 2010.

Thailand won against Hong Kong 3-0 (25-9, 25-8, 25-19), due to their superior skill and technique. J. Sasipaporn and T. Nokyoong gave the Thai lineup a huge advantage with their commanding attacks. The Thai side also stormed the opponents’ court with a total of 10 service aces that took advantage of Hong Kong’s poor defensive stance.

India fought through a 3-1 battle against Kazakshstan (19-25, 25-21, 25-15, 26-24) to forge a showdown with Thailand for fifth place. Captain Nabanita and Krishna combined for a total of 28 points as India toppled their Kazakh opponents.

In an earlier match, Vietnam grabbed ninth place by defeating Iran 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20). Australia took 11th place overall, as they survived a five-set battle against Mongolia (25-21, 17-25, 25-22, 16-25, 18-16).

Final matches:
10:00 – Kazakhstan v Hong Kong (7th – 8th)
13:00 – India v Thailand (5th – 6th)
15:00 – Chinese Taipei v Korea (3rd – 4th)
17:00 – China v Japan (1st – 2nd)

Day Eight Results:
Australia v Mongolia 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 25-22, 16-25, 18-16)
Vietnam v Iran 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20)
India v Kazakhstan 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-15, 26-24)
Thailand v Hong Kong 3-0 (25-9, 25-8, 25-19)
China v Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-12)
Japan v Korea 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-17)






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