Volleyball: Japan secure the bronze
Updated: Saturday, 11 Aug 2012 15:03
Japan took the bronze medal in the women's Olympic volleyball by securing a straight-sets success over South Korea in their all-Asian clash at Earls Court.
Masayoshi Manabe's side appeared to want the glory more than their rivals, displaying a greater appetite from the first point as they wrapped up a first Games podium finish since 1984.
They stifled Kim Yeon-koung - South Korea's go-to hitter - throughout, with the 24-year-old appearing battle weary having carried her nation through to the last four with a string of stunning performances.
She did score 22 points but her intensity was well below what it has been for the last fortnight, with her approaches to the net seemingly more out of duty than desire.
And, with Japan on the top of the game as they chased a sixth Olympic volleyball medal, South Korea were rarely in the game over the course of the 90 minutes it took to finalise things ahead of tonight's final between Brazil and the United States.
Soari Sakoda top-scored with 23 points for Japan, who won the game despite not picking up a single point on the block.
So clean was their hitting and transition that they did not need to do anything in defence at the net, being out-scored by eight points to nil.
But they did crucially register 53 points to 38 on the spike, always having enough to pull clear whenever South Korea looked like mounting a challenge.