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Defending champs China sent packing by Brazil in Olympic women's volleyball tournament
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22:07, August 21, 2008


Zhou Suhong (C) of China spikes the ball during women's volleyball semifinal match between China and Brazil at Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 21, 2008. Brazil beat China 3-0. (Xinhua Photo)


A ruthless Brazilian team humiliated defending champions China with a 3-0 demolition in the semifinals of the Beijing Olympic women's volleyball tournament on Thursday.

The world number one team will meet the United States in the final on Saturday.

The Chinese were in form quickly, with spiker Li Juan and Zhou Suhong scoring early points to move the Chinese team 3-0 up in the opening set. Then Brazilian team answered with an excellent back-court attack from Sheilla Castro.

Trailing 5-1 behind, the South Americans found the range, and after a block from Paula Pequeno, Brazil cut the cushion to within one point, 5-4.

To a noisy home crowd, the Chinese team looked tight, making many unforced errors and Brazil took chances to level it at 12-all.

Then much younger setter Wei Qiuyue came in for an underperforming captain Feng Kun. It worked effectively as Chinese spiker Wang Yimei, Li and middle blocker Zhao Ruirui racked up some fine winners to build up the lead once again.

The second technical timeout came with China in front 16-14, but it was the Brazilian who shrugged off tension to play their game, which helped them beat off two set points and then have two straight points to claim the set at 27-25.

The two teams battled hard in the second set, but the South Americans started to take control. Trailing 6-3 behind, China coach Chen Zhonghe had the 19-year-old Wei replace Feng again but the Chinese were still playing below standard and especially had trouble in blocking and making too many mistakes.

Brazil brought up the second technical timeout ahead at 16-13 while China could never really pose a threat upon the opponents.

After Li and Zhao spiked long twice in a row, Brazil set up a comfortable 24-20 lead and converted on the third set point to take the set at 25-22 thanks to China's Zhou serving to the net.

Coming into the third set, the Chinese lost pace and were in serious trouble with their defence falling to pieces. Brazil took the set at 25-14.


Feng Kun (C) and Zhao Ruirui (R) of China block the ball during women's volleyball semifinal match between China and Brazil at Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 21, 2008. Brazil beat China 3-0. (Xinhua Photo)


Source: Xinhua

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1 China 46 15 22 83
2 USA 27 32 29 88
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4 Russia 16 16 19 51
5 Australia 11 13 14 38
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