China rally from two sets down to capture 7th Asiad title
The host Chinese women's volleyball team won their fourth consecutive Asian Games title with a perfect 7-0 record by beating South Korea 3-2 in their last match at Guangzhou Gymnasium on Saturday.
This is also the last gold medal decided at the 16-day Guangzhou Asian Games, which concluded on Saturday.
In front of about 11,000 spectators, China rallied from two sets down to win 21-25, 22-25, 25-10, 25-16, 16-14 to capture their seventh crown in style. It was in attacking where the Chinese made the biggest difference, winning 59 points on spikes against South Korea's 45. China also had six aces while South Korea had nil.
Wang Yimei had an amazing 30 points for China to lead the game, including 21 spikes, eight blocks. Ma Yunwen contributed 15 points, she had 14 kills out of 28 attempts. Li Juan scored 14.
"This match was much difficult than our expectation. South Korea had a good performance, especially in the first two sets," said Yu Juemin, head coach of China, "But we didn't breakdown after two sets down, we tried to score points one by one."
It was an even match from the very start. China built up an early five- point cushion at 5-1, but South Korea soon came back as China contributed four errors to South Korea's first six points. After the first technical time out, South Korea overtook the lead at 15-14 with a 5-1 surge and rallied to 23-18 as China made a series of unforced errors.
Ma scored two points in a row for China to claw it back at 21-24, but Hwang Youn-Joo secured the opening set win for South Korea with a spike from right side of the net.
South Korea, who stood on the Asiad podium for 12 times but only won title once at 1994, went 3-0 ahead in the second set and widened the gap to five points at 8-3.
China's head coach Yu Juemin was forced to call a timeout. It succeeded as Li Juan sparked a 5-1 run for China to go 8-9. But South Korean soon answered with a 4-1 run to regain their lead and enlarged the gap to 21-16.
Kim Yeon-Koung then exploded as she scored the South Koreans' last two points to seal the set 25-22.
China came back strongly in the third set, as Wang and Xue Ming consistent in attacking, China led throughout the set while South Korea, who could not find their firm defense anymore, struggled at the net, committing too many errors. China then clinched the set 25-10 after South Korea made another error.
"I have nothing to say except congratulation to the Chinese players. We didn't play well, that's what I can say and I have no more added." said South Korea's head coach Park Sam-Ryong.
China went 11-9 up after both teams tied at 8-8 as Wang's heavy spikes proved too much for the South Korea team. Yu called a timeout after South Korea clawed the scoreboard back at 11-11, after the game resumed, Xue sparked a 5-1 run to help China pull within at 17-13. The Chinese kept cool and eventually took the fourth set by a chain of sharp attacks.
The fifth set turned out again to be a see-saw affair. China beat South Korea's two match points to tie at 14-14. Han Song-Yi, the main ammunition of attacking for South Korea, spiked out of bounds to award China the match point.
Li Juan then flied from left side of the net to knock the ball down on the opponent's court to give China the winner.
Star player of South Korea Kim Yeon-Koung led the team with 19 points, all came from spikes. Hwang scored 14 points and Yang Hyon-Jin added 10.
"We worked hard and we deserve the title," said China's captain Wei Qiuyu, whose face was bathed in tears, "We finished only 10th at the World Championship, but the title of Asiad proved that the Chinese team is still a strong one, at least in Asia."
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