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China Books 1st Women's Volleyball Semi-final Berth

China booked first women's volleyball semi-final position on Tuesday after beating Japan 3-0 in a quarterfinal round match at the Athens Olympics.

China completed a clinical three-set win over its arch-rival in Asia in one hour and 49 minutes.


China, who ranked fifth at Sydney Olympics four years ago, made a good start in the first set, opening a 3-0 lead after only one minutes.


Japan replied by improving their fast-attacking to lead into the first technical time-out 8-6.


However, China answered back with a 8-2 run and it was left to Wang Lina to claim the final point of the set which China took it 25-20.


In the second set, Japan began to play improved volleyball, opening 7-3 lead. But it wasn't long before China found their fast attacking and their high blocking game again and tied the set up at 12-12.


Kana Oyama scored all Japan's last four points at the final five minutes but could not stop China close the set at 25-22.


Falling behind with two sets, Japanese side started more evenly in the third. The score were tied from 1-1 to 15-15 before China started to gain the ascendancy.


With Wang Lina's three points, China launched a 5-0 run to take advantage. A wonderful spike from Zhang Ping gave China a 23-19 advantage and her serve made China finish the game with 25-20.


After the easy victory, China entered the semi-finals and will face the winner between Italy and Cuba, which will be held later on Tuesday. 


(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2004)

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