Slovenia goes down to China in their final sitting volleyball game in pool play at London Paralympics

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Yu Hong of China serves the ball during the first set
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England — In the first match of sitting volleyball this morning at ExCeL's South Arena 2, the Chinese women defeated Slovenia 3 sets to 0 in a half empty arena with minimal press in attendance. The game was the last one in pool play for both teams and China left the game at the top of their group in group play.

With spectators equaling half the total who watched the Great Britain versus Ukraine match earlier at the Games, China won the first set 25–12 before a crowd full of home town fans. In the press area, volunteers assisting with the games — so-called Games Makers — outnumbered the press, which included three Slovenes and Wikinews at the start, before they were joined by a trio of Chinese reporters who showed up half way through the first set. The limited partisan support available for one of the teams on the court was found in the corner, and the Slovenes were waving their flag during time outs and when Slovenia scored.

China went on to win the second set 24–15, with the Slovenes able to fight back and narrow the score at times but never seriously challenge the Chinese lead. A Chinese supporter with a flag made their presence known during Slovenia's second time out in the second set by waving it when asked which side fans were supporting.

The Slovenes were in it early in the third set, only behind 5–4 at one point before leveling at 6–6 and going ahead 6–7, which was their first lead of the game. With Slovenia holding a lead of 7–8, a long volley followed which ended with Slovenia celebrating a point only for it to be awarded to China, which tied the score again and China came back for scores to sit at 13–8. At this point, Slovenia called their second time out. The relatively quiet audience only got loud with commentator direction. While two Chinese flags waved during timeouts, the Chinese media who showed up midway through the first set left the press tribunes by midway through the third set. The Slovenes attempted to stay in it, but ended the set 25–16.

Entering the tournament as the number-one ranked team in the world, China came into the game having beaten the United States in their opening game 3 sets to 1, then going on to beat Brazil by the same total. In contrast, the Slovenes who are ranked fifth in the world went down to the United States 0 to 3 in straight sets, then down to Brazil by 2 sets to 3.

Other sitting volleyball games scheduled today include men's games with Great Britain playing Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina playing Rwanda, and Iran playing Brazil, women's games with the Ukraine playing Japan, the United States playing Brazil.


Sources

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