Asian Games: Thailand dethrones South Korea, sets up finals date with China

Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand dethroned reigning champions South Korea to set up a gold medal match with world’s best China in the 18th Asian Games on Friday at the GBK Tennis Indoor Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Thais recovered from a third set meltdown and turned back the Koreans in four sets, 25-15 25-20 20-25 25-22.

It was a total team effort as four players scored in double figures for Thailand. They were led by Onuma Sittirak, who finished the job with 14 points, while skipper Pleumjit Thinkaow tallied 13 markers. Rising star Pimpichaya Kokram and veteran Wilavan Apinyapong uncorked 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Superstar Kim Yeonkoung topscored with 18 points, while Sohwi Kang added 13 for South Korea, who will clash with Japan in the bronze medal match.

China crushed Japan in straight sets, 25-22, 25-10, 25-20, to book a return ticket to the finals in homes of bringing home its 12th gold medal in Asiad volleyball.

World’s best and highest-paid volleyball player Zhu Ting was at the helm, delivering 14 spikes and four blocks for 18 points. 18-year old Yingying Li managed 13 markers for the Chinese, who are yet to drop a set in this tourney.

Yuki Ishii and Ai Kurogo combined 24 points for the Japanese on a losing effort.

The highly-anticipated finals match between Thailand and China is set on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (Indonesia Time).

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