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China beat Thais in Asian U23 Women's Championship final

 
Manila, Philippines, May 9, 2015 – China secured the gold medal after defeating Thailand in the final of the Rebisco U23 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship powered by PLDT Home and Smart Live More at the PSC Philsports Arena on Saturday.

China pulled off a 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-11) triumph over Thailand.

They were led by outside hitter Liu Yanhan, who charted 28 points to cap a prolific scoring performance in the competition. 

The match started evenly as both sides took set victories until China pushed harder to control Thailand. China dictated the tempo and managed to keep Thailand at bay in the next two sets as Liu put on a scoring show for the winning team.

Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Chatchu-on Moksri scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, for Thailand.

China and Thailand have qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship in Ankara, Turkey, from August 12 to 19.

Korea bagged the bronze medal with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-15) win over Japan. The first and second sets were a close fight between the two teams, but Korea had the better end game to secure the set victories. 

Japan became weary in the third set as the Korean defence strengthened, which enabled Korean playmaker Cho Songhwa to create good combination plays for her hitters Lee Soyoung and An Hyeri, who scored 14 points apiece.

“We started slow in the game,” Korea captain Cho Songhwa said. “We were able to win because we adjusted on our reception and on our block.”

Chinese Taipei finished in fifth place after a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-9) win over India. Chinese Taipei got their biggest challenge in the second set as India asserted its efforts to challenge their opponents until two strong offensive moves sealed the set.

“The Indian team is getting better and better,” Chinese Taipei coach Lin Ming-Hui said. “In the future, they will be a strong contender.”

In the third set, Chinese Taipei gained more control over their rivals and limited the Indians to a 25-9 score.

“Our goal was to play in the semifinals but we did not achieve that,” coach Lin added. “Hopefully, we will do better next time.”

The Philippines ended their tournament campaign in seventh place with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 26-24) triumph over Iran. The Filipinos played with control and focus in each set, but got a scare from the Iranian side late in the third set as their opponents tied the score at 20-20 and took the lead briefly at 21-20. Another deadlock came at 24-24 when the Philippines nailed the final points to end the set and match.

“Our coach told us to focus and enjoy the game,” Philippines captain Alyssa Valdez said. “It was good that we won against Iran and it was a bonus for us to win in straight sets. It’s good day for Philippine Volleyball.”

SATURDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
7th-8th Playoff: Philippines b Iran 3-0 (25-15 25-21 26-24)
5th-6th Playoff: Chinese Taipei b India 3-0 (25-17 25-23 25-9)
Third-Place Playoff: Korea b Japan 3-0 (26-24 25-23 25-15)
Championship match: China b Thailand 3-1 (27-25 21-25 25-21 25-11)

FINAL RANKINGS
China (qualified for FIVB Women’s U23 World Volleyball Championship in Turkey)
Thailand (qualified for FIVB Women’s U23 World Volleyball Championship in Turkey)
Korea
Japan
Chinese Taipei
India
Philippines
Iran
Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan
Macau
Maldives

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Most Valuable Player – Liu Yanhan (CHN)
First Best Outside Spiker – Lee Soyoung (KOR)
Second Best Outside Spiker – Liu Yanhan (CHN)
First Best Middle Blocker – Hattaya Bamrungsuk (THA)
Second Best Middle Blocker – Zheng Yixin (CHN)
Best Setter – Chen Xintong (CHN)
Best Libero – Kim Yeongyeon (KOR)
Best Opposite Spiker – Pimpichaya Kokram (THA)

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