Chinese Taipei won the bronze medal of the women's volleyball tournament at the Doha Asiad here Tuesday after storming past Thailand in straight sets.
It is also the first Asian Games' medal for the Chinese Taipei women volleyballers since they participated the tournament in 1970.
The earlier best Asiad's record for both teams is the fourth place, which Chinese Taipei finished twice in 1994 and 2002, while Thailand in 1986 and 1998.
The Thai women started strongly with a short-lived 3-1 lead, when Chinese Taipei's wing spikers fought back to pull back the score 5-3. However, Chinese Taipei's chains of service and spike errors cost them dear at big points and two sides tied from 21-21 to 23-23.
Luckily, with an out-court service of their opponents and a powerful spike, Chinese Taipei took the first set 25-23.
The following set was even closer, seeing the two tying till 10- all, when Chinese Taipei's captain Chen Shu Li and wing attacker Lin Chun Yi broke the tie with three stunning spikes to help the team lead 13-10.
Chinese Taipei controlled the rhythm of the rest time of the set, leading from 16-13 to 24-21. With a service error of Thai captain Saengmuang Patcharee, Chinese Taipei ended the set 25-21.
Chinese Taipei's spikers showed their real potential in the last and left no chance to their rivals, who seemingly lost their heart after the two sets. Chinese Taipei took the set and the match 25-14.
"My players are fabulous today and we won the bronze medal and made a history," said Lin Kuang Hung, head coach of Chinese Taipei.
"Thailand is a very emotional team. They usually start high and once they get blocked, they shrivel. So I have asked my players to be patient and they did. That's why we win," said Lin, who just recovered from illness and showed at the court.
A predicted tough China-Japan final will be staged later of the day, when Chinese women will fight for their third consecutive Asiad's volleyball gold medal, while Japan, who re-entered the Asian Games' final after 20 years, vowed to take its first gold medal since 1978.
Earlier, South Korea, silver medalist of the 2002 Busan Asiad, powered over Kazakhstan 25-20, 25-22 and 25-14 in a pride-saving match to finish fifth in the nine-team tournament, while Vietnam downed Mongolia in the 7th-8th playoff.