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Volleyball - 11. September 2009.

Japan beats Korea in clash of the titans, China stays the course at Asian Womens Championship

China's captain Wei Qiuyue blocks Vietnam's Bui Thi Hue
Hanoi, Vietnam, September 10, 2009 — Title-holders and three-time champions Japan brushed aside Korea and China also remained undefeated at the 15th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship here on Thursday.

World No. 7 Japan pulled off a dramatic 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21) victory over Korea to top Pool F.

For Japan, it was third successive win over Korea in 30 days. Early last month, the Japanese tamed Korea 3-1 in the second week of the World Grand Prix in Osaka. They repeated the feat in the same tournament on Korean soil a week later.

Japan lost to Korea in straight sets in the semifinals of last year’s Asian Cup but it’s a different script at the Asian meet here. The newly formed Japanese side had improved tremendously and become much stronger.

With the sensational win, Japan top Pool F on six points from three straight wins, with Korea in second position after bagging five points from two wins against one loss. Up-and-coming Thailand mercilessly crushed Chinese Taipei in a lopsided battle 25-16, 25-9, 25-13 to finish third in the pool, with Chinese Taipei in fourth.

In Pool E, world No. 3 and 11-time champions China continued their invincible form in the 14-nation, nine-day competition. On Thursday, China breezed past hosts Vietnam in a one-sided tussle 25-15, 25-10, 25-12 to top the pool.

Kazakhstan outclassed Iran 25-16, 25-9, 25-15 to finish second in Pool E, with Vietnam and Iran in third and fourth places, respectively.

The lower-ranked teams contested the 9th-14th classification round on Thursday, with Australia needing 130 minutes to beat Hong Kong in a closely contested five sets (25-23, 25-14, 18-25, 21-25, 15-12) to top Pool G. Hong Kong finished second, with winless Sri Lanka in third.

India came from behind to beat Uzbekistan in another exhausting battle (19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-16, 19-17) to top Pool H. Uzbekistan finished second, with underdogs Indonesia in third place.

The top eight teams will play in the quarterfinals on Friday, with the winners advancing to the semifinals.

Match results:

Pool E (1-8): Kazakhstan beat Iran 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-15)

China beat Vietnam 3-0 (25-1, 25-10, 25-12)

Pool F (1-8): Japan beat Korea 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21)

Thailand beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-13)

Pool G (9-14): Australia beat Hong Kong 3-2 (25-23, 25-14, 18-25, 21-25, 15-12)

Pool H (9-14): India beat Uzbekistan 3-2 (19-25 25-17,, 22-25, 25-16, 19-17)


Team ranking after round-robin second round:

Pool E (1-8): 1. China 6 points; 2. Kazakhstan 5 pts; 3. Vietnam 4 pts; 4. Iran 3 pts

Pool F (1-8): 1. Japan 6 points; 2. Korea 5 pts; 3. Thailand 4 pts; 4. Chinese Taipei 3 pts

Pool G (9-14): 1. Australia 4 points; 2. Hong Kong 3 pts; 4. Sri Lanka 2 pts

Pool H (9-14): 1. India 4 points; 2. Uzbekistan 3 pts; 3. Indonesia 2 pts.

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