China reach semis at Asian Men's Volleyball Champs

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Players of China compete in the game. [photo:xinhua]

China worked hard to beat Qatar 3-2 and book a semifinal berth at the Asian Men's Volleyball Championship on Friday.

China, who finished sixth at the last two Asian Championship, will next take on defending champion Iran, who beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 to become the only unbeaten squad at the tournament.

Nine-time champion Japan also entered the last four after easing past Australia in straight sets, setting up a semifinal clash against Chinese Taipei, who shocked China two years ago to finish fifth.

The Chinese players were apparently not in good shape at the beginning, largely because their match with Japan had finished less than 15 hours before. But they managed to find their rhythm when 2-1 down, winning 28-26, 21-25, 26-28, 25-19, 15-10 after two hours and 24 minutes.

Spiker Zhang Jingyin scored a game-high 26 points and captain Jiang Chuan added 23.

"We are very tired after the victory over Japan last night," said Jiang Chuan. "We made too many mistakes in the first three sets, but we finally found ourselves. Nobody wants to lose the match in that way."

Jiang, competing in his third Asian Championship, added: "We will try our best in the semifinals. We don't want to have any regrets here in Japan."

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