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Japan into Women's Volleyball Final After 20 Years
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Japan has steamrolled their way to a gold medal match with China in women's volleyball tournament after beating high-spirit Thailand 3-0 on Sunday.

It has been 20 years for Japan to re-enter the final since they won a silver medal in Seoul in 1986 while China took the championship.

Japan won Sunday's semifinal 32-30, 25-17, 25-17, while China secured the other final berth, beating Chinese Taipei 25-17, 25-13and 25-17 earlier in the day.

Thailand is at peak after staging a scintillating come-from-behind to beat the 2002 Busan silver medalist South Korea 3-1 in quarterfinals.

However, the Japanese took a 3-0 lead in the opening set. The Thai players immediately answered back with three deadly spikes to catch up 3-3, when the set became a tit-for-tat battlefield and was pulled into a 30-all before Japan won with a pair of powerful spikes.

Both teams have shown great fighting spirit in front of more than 2,000 fans, however, Japan left no chance with its rivals and their sound defense and quick attacks helped them win the following two sets with an identical score of 25-17.

China will play Japan on Tuesday for the championship, while Chinese Taipei fights against Thailand for the third-place.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2006)

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