China, Korea coaches deny making 'deal'

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The coaches of Chinese and South Korean women's teams were quick to deny speculation that "a deal" had been reached before yesterday's match to ensure both qualify for the quarterfinals at the London Olympics.

China beat South Korea 3-2 yesterday in the last round of group play, a result that allowed the two Asian teams to reach the last eight at the cost of defending champion Brazil.

Asked if they had struck a pre-game agreement on the results, China head coach Yu Jumin responded with a simple, "No".

South Korean coach Kim Hyung-sil said: "We wouldn't do this."

With the 3-2 record, China advanced to the quarterfinals as the No. 2 in Pool B, while South Korea also booked a berth as the No. 3. It had two wins and three losses.

According to the game competition rules, a team gets three points if it wins a match 3-0 or 3-1, and two points if it wins in five sets. For the losers, they have one point if they make it a five-set tussle.

"When we played against Turkey, we lost 2-3 and earned one point, and today we earned another point to take us to eight (points)," said head coach Kim of South Korea.

Besides South Korea, China were in the same pool as Brazil, world No. 1 United States, Turkey and Serbia. Italy, Russia, Japan, Algeria, the Dominican Republic and host Britain make up the other pool. The top four finishers in each pool advance to the quarterfinals.

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