RIO DE JANEIRO – China’s women’s volleyball team made it difficult for favorites Brazil in a five-set match on Tuesday, dashing the host country’s hopes of winning a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. home.

The Chinese youth team overcame more experienced opponents with a score of 15-25 25-23 25-22 22-25 15-13 and qualified for the semi-finals, where they will face the Netherlands.

Brazil, with eight players who competed at the 2012 London Olympics and four of them veterans from Beijing in 2008, didn’t miss a set until the quarter-final against China.

China won its second gold medal in 2004 in Athens and is now on track for a third under head coach Jenny Lang Ping, a former Chinese volleyball player who coached the United States to victory. silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Unfazed by the cheers and boos of Brazil’s supporters at the packed Maracanazinho stadium in Rio, China took the lead in the third set with a string of unstoppable goals from the Brazilian. Top scorer Zhu Ting.

Brazil fought back in the fourth round but China won in the fifth round.

The United States crushed Japan in consecutive sets 25-16 25-23 25-22 to stay unbeaten and raise hopes of its first Olympic gold medal.

The Americans will face a surprisingly strong Serbian team in the final four games on Thursday. Serbia eliminated Russia 25-9 25-22 25-21 to become the first Serbian volleyball team to reach the Olympic semi-finals.

Serbia coach Zoran Terzic said: “We played extremely strong attack and serve, which made the Russian defense very difficult.

Terzic told reporters that Serbia will have to prepare for a very different match against the United States, which is much faster and more collective than a Russian team that relies on two main attackers.

Previously, the Netherlands beat South Korea 3-1 and will meet China on Thursday before the final and bronze medal match on Saturday.

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