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Sheilla Castro © Gallo Images

Brazil, Russia, US still unbeaten in Japan



All the top guns - Brazil, Russia and the United States -- remained unbeaten with four straight wins in the second stage at the world women's volleyball championship in Japan on Saturday.

The teams bring three results each from the first stage in the second-stage round robin.

Beijing Olympic gold medallists Brazil whipped Asian champions Thailand 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 in the eight-team Pool F round robin in Nagoya, while the Americans outgunned the Czech Republic 25-20, 25-20, 25-13.

While Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes turns his attention toward Sunday's match against Cuba, Thai coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai has already started to think about the Asian Games.

"Our goal was to make the second round. We will take it step-by-step now. Next week we also have to play in the Asian Games so I need to take care of my players," said Kiattipong.

American coach Hugh McCutcheon said he was satisfied with his team's performance.

"We are starting to play good volleyball. It was good timing for us against the Czech team that has been playing well," said McCutcheon.

Captain Jennifer Tamas said: "We prepared really well for this match. The first two sets were close, then our blocking and serving got into rhythm."

In Tokyo in Pool E, defending champions Russia powered past Peru 25-15, 25-15, 25-20.

"It was good to have this match, because we didn't have enough time to prepare. I'm satisfied with the result," said Liubov Shashkova, who scored 13 points.

Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin said his team did not have problems in beating Peru and already he is looking forward to their next match against Poland on Sunday.

"We are not going to change anything, including tactics, against Poland," said Kuzyutkin.

Also in Tokyo, Turkey defeated the 2006 bronze medallists Serbia 25-19, 25-16, 25-20, while former European champions Poland squeezed through to a 2-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 17-15 victory over South Korea.

In the last match of the day, Athens Olympic gold medallists China outgunned Japan 25-23, 25-23, 27-29, 25-12.

The Netherlands outclassed Cuba 25-12, 22-25, 25-12, 25-20, while Italy defeated Germany 22-25, 32-30, 25-8, 25-15 in Nagoya.

Japan have now 3-1 win-loss record and Turkey, Serbia, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Italy and Germany have a 2-2 record, the Czech Republic and Cuba 1-3 ahead of winless Peru and Thailand.



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