Defending champion China out of Tokyo Olympic women's volleyball quarterfinals

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Yuan Xinyue (top) of China spikes the ball during the women's volleyball preliminary round match between China and Italy at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on July 31, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Defending champion China was knocked out of the women's volleyball quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday while ROC, Turkey and South Korea secured their berths in the top eight round.

China swept Italy 25-21, 25-20 and 26-24 for its first win in four tries Saturday evening, but it came a little bit too late.

"Before the start of the match, we already know that we have no chance to advance to the quarterfinals, but we are eager to play a good game and earn a victory," said China head coach Lang Ping.

The Russian Olympic Committee team hammered the previously unbeaten American women 25-20, 25-12 and 25-19 to improve to a 3-1 win-loss record.

Nataliya Goncharova led the Russian spikers with 26 points while Jordan Thompson was forced out of the match after sustaining an ankle injury in the beginning of the second set.

"It's not a major ankle sprain. It's somewhere between mild and medium. We'll learn more about the extent," said USA head coach Karch Kiraly. "I've heard she'll be back in action within a few days, which means maybe she's unlikely for Italy [on Monday] but we're hopeful beyond that."

Later on Saturday, Turkey swept Argentina 3-0 to clinch the fourth and last ticket to the knock-out stage on offer in pool B. Standing at fourth in pool B with seven points from two wins and two losses, Turkey has secured a better finish ahead of China, who was fifth with four points, due to superior set ratio.

South Korea outlasted Japan 3-2 in pool A for its third win in four tries and a berth in the quarterfinals. Japan and Dominican Republic, who shared a 1-3 record, will vie for the last place in the quarterfinals.

In Saturday's other matches in pool A, Brazil beat Serbia 3-1 and Dominican Republic eased past Kenya 3-0.

Italy, the United States, Brazil and Serbia have already qualified for the quarterfinals on Thursday after winning three matches.

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