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Iran celebrates first win over South Korean volleyballers

Tokyo, May 23, IRNA -- Iran is on cloud nine as it crushed South Korea for the first time in its history in the volleyball qualifying match for 2004 Athens Olympic Games here Sunday.

Iran stunned the Koreans in Metropolitan Hall, winning the qualifier in three straight sets.

Korea, which was thrashed by China 3-0 Saturday received the second blow as it lost 18-25 21-25 16-25.

In another clash, France handed the Canadian side a 3-0 loss, winning 25-22 25-23 25-21.

Asian silver medalists China turned the tables on continental champion South Korea in their opening game of the men's final qualifying tournament Saturday.

Zhang Xiang and three other veterans returned to the rescue of the national side, leading China to their first win in five years against South Korea with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 victory.

World bronze medalists France saved two set points in each of the last two sets to beat Australia 25-18, 30-28, 28-26, while Canada downed Iran 25-20, 25-20, 28-26 in the eight-nation round- robin.

Canada faced a late challenge by the Iranians and it missed two match points before saving two set points at 24-25 and 25-26 in the third set.

The winner and the top-finishing Asian country will qualify for the Olympics.

... Payvand News - 5/23/04 ... --

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