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China wins women's volleyball gold after 12 years

China beat Serbia to win its third women's volleyball gold medal in Olympic Games on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, 12 years after the team clinched the title in Athens.

China defeated Serbia 19-25, 25-17, 25-22, and 25-23 on Saturday, after conquering difficulties in earlier stage of the game.

China finished fourth in the group stage, after losing to the US, Netherlands and Serbia.

In the quarterfinals, China overcame host team and favorite Brazil in a five-set thriller. In the semi-final, China successfully took revenge on Netherlands.

The gold medal match saw a low start for the Chinese team, with Serbia winning 25-19 in the first set. But the team held on and turned the game around by winning the following three sets.

The first time China won women's volleyball gold medal was in 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games when China beat host the US team in the final. China's head coach Lang Ping was the spiker of the team.

The second time was in Athens when China overcame a 0:2 deficit to beat Russia in the final.

Lang Ping, the head coach of China, said after the match: "The spirit of Chinese women's volleyball team is to never give up. My duty as the coach is to guide this young team to carry on this spirit."

"During the Rio Games, Chinese players in different games overcame difficulties, including injuries. I told my team to learn from other Chinese players," said Lang Ping.

Wei Jizhong, the former president of International Volleyball Federation, hailed Lang Ping as a "great coach" who "cultivated and shaped this Chinese team".

"Lang Ping is a coach who knows how to cultivate a player as well as how to use a player. Her biggest contribution is to have built up such a team," said Wei.

 
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