Tianjin, China, May 28, 2015 – Cheered by over 10,000 people on site, hosts China overpowered Korea in straight sets 25-21, 25-21, 25-21 in the final showdown of the 18th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and reclaimed the title of Asia after 4-year bye. It is their 13th crown of the Asian Championship while Korea again failed in pursuing for their first-ever Asian laurel.
Like in the semi-finals against Thailand, China were slow to play to full potential in the beginning, letting Korea launch a magic 4-0 start highlighting two aces. China had to call an early timeout before Zhu Ting scored the first point for China with her sharp attack but the whole combination and defense of China did not make big difference. Korea kept their firing and another ace serve by Kim Yeonkoung brought them to an 8-4 lead at the first technical time-out. Without wasting too much time, China gradually got used to Korea’s play style and initiated their chasing mode with a mixture of full-blooded aggression in their spiking and well-organized defense. Zhu Ting became the key person as she stirred up a 6-0 tide with four killing spikes from left wing, bringing China to the set point at 24-20. Only allowing one more point to Korea, China finished the first set in 25-21 following a spike by Zeng Chunlei.
Korea repeatedly attempted to destroy China’s reception with their impacting serves in the second set. It worked well as they once reversed from 12-16 to a lead at 17-16 in KimYeonkoung’s serving round. However, China took an obvious advantage over net as they could often benefit from spiking and blocks. In the same 25-21, China moved one step closer to the final win.
China continued their momentum and set up the lead from the beginning of the third set. Although Korea struggled all the way and shortened the gap to one or two points several times, China could always re-widen it and following a typical spike by Zhu Ting from left wing, they clinched the third set win in 25-21.
Zhu Ting contributed China 21 points from 49 attempts in high efficiency, only one point less than the best scorer, Kim Yeonkoung, who bagged 22 points from 64 attempts. The biggest difference between China and Korea was in serves, blocks and errors, featuring 3-9, 11-3 and 11-19.
“I feel sorry for this match. If we worked harder, maybe we could have a better result. Anyway, the failure will not affect our preparation for the Rio Olympics. ” said Lee Jungchul, head coach of Korea.
“It is a little bit out of expectation that we won in 3-0. We made preparation for kinds of difficulties. Korea is a very strong team. It is our team work that brought us to the victory.” said Hui Ruoqi, captain of China.
“I would congratulate my team and players for their hard work and great performance during the Championship. Both young and elder players have got some lessons from the tournament. It is our new start point. I hope we can improve more through the following training and excavate more potentials. ” said Lang Ping, head coach of China.
“We’ve made big improvement in the past two years. We have many young players popping up. But we should always remind us once title is not for all. In fact, we still do not have absolute advantage over other Asian strong teams. We will work harder to improve ourselves with more balance in attack and defense. ” Lang Ping added.
In the bronze medal match, Chinese Taipei conceded 0-3 (14-25, 14-25, 10-25) to Thailand and slotted to the fourth place, equal to their best-ever record 18 years ago.
Thailand started the match with a cross attack by Pleumjit Thinkaow in right forward. By strong spikes from Ajcharaporn Kongyot and fast attacks from Pleumjit Thinkaow, Thailand widened the gap all the way from 16-8 to 20-11. Chinese Taipei could not find the way to withstand the offensive attacks from Thailand, and shortly they lost the first set 14-25 following a mighty spike by Onuma Sittirak.
Thailand continued combining fast and powerful attacks with offensive blocks in the following two sets, leaving Chinese Taipei no chance to come back. In another 25-14 and easier 25-10, they swept Chinese Taipei and clinched the third place of Asian Championship.
Onuma Sittirak led Thailand with 22 points, while Tseng Wan-Ling only pocketed nine points for Chinese Taipei.
“Our players did not play as well as before, maybe because of fatigue. They wanted to win all the time. But the loss to Korea the previous day affected them a lot. ” said Lin Ming-Hui , head coach of Chinese Taipei.
“Anyway we reached our goal for this championship. But we did not play to all our potentials in the last few matches. Players should keep concentrating and fight to the end for breakthroughs instead of giving up early. We shall review in details when back to Taipei. ” he added.
Vietnam created their best-ever record of 5th place at the Asian Championship after beating Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-17,21-25,25-19) in the classification of 5th-6th place. The 6th place is the worst result for Japan in the history.
Do Thi Minh of Vietnam and Mabashi Kaori of Japan shared the title of best scorer with same 19 points but in different mood.
Kazakhstan finished in 7th spot with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-19) win over Iran, who ruined themselves by committing up to 21 errors compared to 11 of Kazakhstan.
Teams Ranking and and Individual awards
1st place: China
2nd place: Korea
3rd place: Thailand
4th place: Chinese Taipei
5th place: Vietnam
6th place: Japan
7th place: Kazakhstan
8th place: Iran
9th place: Australia
10th place: India
11th place: Mongolia
12th place: Philippines
13th place: Hong Kong
14th place: Sri Lanka
Most Valuable Player: Zhu Ting (CHN)
The Best Outside Spiker: Zhu Ting (CHN)
2nd Best Outside Spiker: Kim Yeonkoung (KOR)
The Best Middle Blocker: Pleumjit Thinkaow (THA)
The Best Opposite Spiker: Zeng Chunlei (CHN)
The Best Setter: Shen Jingsi (CHN)
The Best Libero: Nam Jieyoun (KOR)