Japan ousts defending champs China, bags AVC Cup 2022 title
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Japan dethroned the defending champions, China in the AVC Cup for Women, 25-23, 25-21, 19-25, 25-16, winning its first gold medal in the tournament on Monday evening (August 29) at the Philsports Arena in Manila.
Making their gold medal extra special is the fact that it was sweet revenge for the Japanese after losing to China in the 2018 edition of the AVC Cup in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
China, the winningest squad in the AVC Cup with fiive titles, ended its three consecutive gold medal finishes.
“It’s so great for this first win. Especially that we won all together, that was really great,” said through an interpreter Japan setter Mika Shibata, who emerged as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Mizuki Tanaka led the Japanese with 19 points while substitute Miwako Osanai added 15 points.
After China snatched the third set, Japan turned to Osanai, who poured out 10 points in the fourth set to seal their historic win.
Making it more impressive was that the Japanese stayed unbeaten throughout their campaign, winning all of their six matches.
“For this short time of preparation, we did really great. We got some players in the Japan V. League and we were able to highlight everyone’s goodness to play. That was really great for our team,” said Shibata.
China’s Zhou Yetong led her team with 14 points, including three blocks, while Zhuang Yushan also had three blocks in her 13-point outing.
“We have a young team. We learned a lot from this experience in this tournament. After all, we will work hard and be better next time,” said Chinese coach Kuang Qi through an intepreter.
The individual awardees of the tournament were Wu Mengjie (China) and Chatchu-on Moksri (Thailand) as the Best Outside Hitters. The Best Middle Blockers were Hiroyo Yamanaka (Japan) and Hu Mingyuan (China). The Best Opposite was Spiker Zhou Yetong (China), while the Best Setter Pornpun Guedpard (Thailand) and Best Libero Rena Mizusngi (Japan).
Thailand settled for bronze medal after beating Vietnam, 25-19, 26-24, 25-18. Chinese-Taipei took the fifth spot following a 28-26, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the Philippines.
The Philippines had its best finish in the history of the AVC Cup at sixth place, surpassing their 2018 ninth place finish. Iran settled for seventh place after defeating Australia, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22. Lastly, South Korea was at the bottom of the tournament.
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