Since the event doubles as Asian Continental Olympic Qualifier, the top three teams at the end of the competition plus the best Asian team not among the medalists will get spots for the Summer Games at the British capital.
Russia expanded their unbeaten record to 5-0 with a four-set (25-18, 25-11, 14-25, 25-22) victory over Serbia who dropped to 3-2. The winners have two remaining matches against hosts Japan on Saturday and the winless Chinese Taipei on Sunday.
“We had a problem with receiving in the third set but we were able to solve the problem and get the win”, Russia’s coach Sergey Ovchinnikov said. “I am happy with the victory and hope Serbia team can win its last two matches.”
Japan improved to 4-1 win-loss record while Thailand (3-2) and Korea (3-2) also came out winners on Friday.
Japan outlasted Cuba in a five-set thriller (25-23, 18-25, 25-16, 23-25, 17-15), the first contest of the competition stretched to the limit. The losers dropped to a 1-4 mark.
“We won in five sets”, Japan’s coach Masayoshi Manabe said during the press conference after the match “Saori Sakoda, Kanako Hirai and Risa Shinnabe saved us.”
Thailand downed Peru in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-20) to improve their win-loss record to 3-2 while Peru fell to 1-4 with the loss.
“I am happy with the victory but not satisfied with the way our team played”, Thai coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai said. “We can improve on our technique for the next match.”
Korea downed Chinese Taipei in straight sets (25-8, 25-12, 25-18) as they also improved to 3-2 with the victory, while Chinese Taipei remained winless at 0-5.
“It seemed that our opponent was every nervous today”, Korea’s coach Kim Hyung-Sil said. “This allowed us to play with a free manner in the match. With confidence we will keep going on.”
Saturday’s schedule features Peru v Serbia, Cuba v Chinese Taipei, Thailand v Korea and Japan v Russia.