The women’s volleyball team of Japan on August 7, 2012 slashed the Chinese team by 3-2 and reached the semi finals at the London 2012 Games. The Japanese team left behind a team it had never even taken a set from at any Olympics.

Some of the Chinese players even burst in to tears as the Japanese celebrated their win at the Earls Court in London. The Japanese won by scoring, 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16 and will now be facing Brazil which beat Russia by 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 21-19.

Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura each scored 33 points for Japan whose finesse countered the China power. Erika Araki, the Japanese captain said, “I’m delighted to win this match, although it was very difficult from the beginning to the end. It was a very close match.”

In the declining set, Japan scored four straight points to go up 5-3 and held China until Wang Yimei made two straight attacks which put her team ahead 9-8. Masayoshi Manabe, the Japanese coach said, “We were relieved at the end of the match that we won”. The Japanese team maintained pace with China in the first set taking a 27-26 advantage. The Japanese have won gold twice in volleyball but their most recent was in the year 1976.