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South Korea tops baseball preliminaries
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After seven consecutive wins in the preliminaries of the Olympic baseball tournament, South Korea topped the list of semifinalists which also included Cuba, the United States and Japan.

As the United States defeated Japan 4-2 here Wednesday evening, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands were out of the tournament.

South Korea, the bronze medal winner at the Sydney Games, delivered impeccable performance in the preliminaries by defeating all the other seven teams.

Second place finisher Cuba lost only one match to South Korea 4-7 on Tuesday. The Caribbean nation has never failed to win a medal at any World Championship it has competed. It also won gold medals at the Barcelona, Atlanta, and Athens Olympic Games, and ranked second in Sydney.

The United States, gold medal winner in Sydney, beat Asian Champion Japan 4-2 in 11 innings in Wednesday's encounter. In seven matches played, the United States won five and Japan had four victories.

The semifinals of the Olympic baseball tournament are scheduled for Friday in Beijing's Wukesong Baseball Stadium, while the gold and bronze medal matches will be held on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2008)

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