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Tuesday, December 28, 1999, updated at 10:44(GMT+8)
Sports China Lost to Japan in Qualification Tournament

Chinese Men's Volleyball Team lost the match to Japan as well as hopes of booking the only men's volleyball berth for the 2000 Olympics representing Asia all but ended in the Asian Men's Volleyball Olympic Qualification Tournament held yesterday in Shanghai.

The team fell 25-20, 27-29, 25-18, 23-25 and 13-15.

China controlled much of the game, but failed to win several crucial points needed to overcome their never-say-die rivals.

It was the second major defeat to Japan in the wake of a 0-3 rout at the World Cup in November in Japan where China finished last but one among 12 teams.

At the World Cup, none of the major Asian teams placed in the top three to earn a trip to Sydney. This meant they had to compete for the sole Olympic ticket in the qualification match.

Four teams competed in the tournament, China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea and Japan.

In an earlier match, South Korea beat Chinese Taipei 3-1.

Only the winner of the tournament will be qualified for attending next year's Olympics.

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