SPORTS

Greece beats China 3-0 in volleyball

The Greek women’s volleyball team, a newcomer to the World Championships, achieved its biggest international success so far yesterday when it defeated China 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) in Leipzig, Germany. It was the fourth victory in five games for Greece in the opening round, in which the 24 finalists were divided into four groups of six teams each. Greece, which also defeated Australia, Poland and Thailand and lost only to Brazil, will play against powerhouses Cuba, Italy and Russia in the next round. China, the silver medalist at the 1998 World Championships, is also one of the world’s top teams. It is third in International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) rankings, while Greece is ranked 52nd. Yet, yesterday, except for a brief period in the second set, the Chinese, who had won their previous four matches easily, never led. «This victory is unbelievable. We expected China to be stronger and I can’t know why they played like that. Nothing, however, can diminish our victory,» said player Eleftheria Hadzinikou. Team coach Giorgos Floros said that victory against a team that rarely loses international matches was a great achievement. The return leg of the match is scheduled for September 14 in Istanbul.