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Serbia grabs last quarterfinal berth of men's volleyball
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19:00, August 18, 2008

Serbia, silver medal winner of the World League this year, finally clinched the last ticket to the men's volleyball quarterfinals on Monday after beating Egypt in straight sets.

As only top four of the six-team group went to the next round, the Europeans, finishing fourth in Pool B with two wins against three losses, marched to the quarterfinals with the top three of the group Brazil, Russia and Poland. The Egyptians ended their third Olympic trip depressed with five straight-set losses.

The world's No. 5 Serbia is highly possible to replay the World League final in July against the United States, who now tops Pool A with one match remaining, in the quartefinals.

However, the Serbians showed no fears to the inevitable head-to-head encounter.

"We are not worried. We've got two wins now and we've been playing much better. We proved that we can beat them in the World League. We beat them 3-0, although we lost to them later in the tournament," said Serbian player Marko Podrascanin.

In other two matches of Pool B, defending champion Brazil beat Germany 3-0 to top the group. Mighty Russia was given scare by high-spirit Poland in five sets, but they still managed to take the second place and the Poles trailed behind to stand at third.

In Pool A, though the final placing is undecided, the U.S. , Bulgaria, Italy and host China have booked a final eight seat. The Venezuelans ended their first Olympic trip with 1-4 win-loss record and another Asian team Japan was blocked off from the quarterfinals even earlier after losing all four matches previously.

In the first match of the day, 2007 World Cup bronze medalist Bulgaria overpowered confident Venezuela 3-1 to kill the chance of the south Americans to go to the next round.

The victory means much more to China, as the host, winning two of the four matches so far, is thus given a ticket of the final eight regardless the result of the match against Italy on the night.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 36 14 13 63
2 USA 19 21 25 65
3 Australia 11 10 12 33
4 Great Britain 11 7 8 26
5 Germany 9 6 7 22
6 South Korea 8 9 5 22

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