OSAKA, Japan, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) - China hammered Thailand in straight sets here Sunday at their opening Pool F match for the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship.
The scores of the three sets were 28-26, 25-20, 25-23, respectively.
(Photos: People's Daily app)
Star spiker Zhu Ting scored 20 points to lead the game. China's Gong Xiangyu and Yuan Xinyue also scored in double figures. Thailand had four players who scored in double digits.
"Thailand had been in good form at the World Championship here, and played great games against the United States and Russia," said China coach Lang Ping after the game.
"So we prepared hard for the match today and were able to fend off Thailand's attacks. I'm happy for my team and hope they will do better in later games," said Lang.
China and Thailand previously had 20 encounters at world-level championships, with China winning 18 of them, including hammering Thailand in straight sets in the 2002 tournament.
But the match on Sunday was not an easy one for China, with Thailand leading initially. China entered the second technical timeout trailing 13-16, but managed to turn the tide 23-19 with kills from Zhu Ting and Gong Xiangyu. The resilient Thailand pulled back to a 26-26 tie, and China only sealed the victory 28-26 with two key smashes by Gong Xiangyu.
China were in better form in the second set and took the lead for most of the time to win 25-20 with errors from their opponents.
In the third set, Thailand fought back even harder and were tied with China 18-18, before China settled the game 25-23 with a spike by Gong Xiangyu.
China will play Azerbaijan in their second Pool F game here on Monday.