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Volleyball: China, Japan power into quarters of Girls’ U18 Worlds in Thailand

Wang Yunlu of China on the attack against hosts Thailand in the Girls' U18 World Championship. Photo: FIVB.

Wang Yunlu of China on the attack against hosts Thailand in the Girls’ U18 World Championship. Photo: FIVB.

August 1, 2013: China beat hosts Thailand 3-0 in the round of 16 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima. China will face Dominican Republic on Friday for a place in the semi-finals.

 

Japan also beat Egypt in straight sets to reach the last eight, where they will face Brazil, while Chinese Taipei lost 3-0 to the USA (25-19, 25-11, 25-17) and will contest the 9th-16th playoffs along with Thailand.

 

20130801_GetImageChina (pictured in red), who only finished third in their pool, beat the hosts 25-18, 25-5, 25-19 in front of more than 1,500 fans in the Chatchai Hall.

 

The towering, 1.99-metre Yuan Xinyue was again outstanding and tallied 18 points, while Hu Mongyuan scored 17 points including three ace serves. The shorter Thais were outplayed, with Jiraporn Chaymon the side’s top scorer with seven points.

 

Japan started off the day with a quick win over Egypt, winning 25-11, 25-7, 25-15 to become the first team in the last eight.

 

The Asian Youth champions had to fight back from 8-7 down in the first game, but then gained momentum as Mizuki Yanagita went on to lead the scoring with 14 points, including three ace serves, followed by captain Miku Benoki with 11 points.

 

20130801_GetImage1“We played well today, but it was not as good as we wanted,” Benoki said. “We think we should play better than this, so we have to practise harder in order to improve in the next match.”

 

Japan (pictured on right, in white) will face a massive battle on Friday when they take on Brazil, who prevailed after a momentous 3-2 win over Italy, a match Brazil coach Mauricio Thomas said “should be the final”.

 

Japan coach Ichiro Hanzawa was upbeat despite the tough competition ahead.

 

“Generally, Egyptian players are fast, but not today, and that made it easier for our team,” Hanzawa said. “Anyway, we still have to train very hard and create a good strategy for the next round. Our target is to win this competition.”

 

China were runners-up to hosts Turkey in the last event two years ago, having won the title in 2001, 2003 and 2007. Japan were champions in 1995 and 1999.

 

Photos: FIVB.com

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