Asian volleyball champions Thailand won an history 3-1 victory over Russia at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Tokyo yesterday.
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Thailand players celebrate after beating Russia in four sets yesterday.
Inspired Thailand beat Russia
World No.1 Brazil blitz Japan to take out title
Asian champions Thailand yesterday secured a historic 3-1 over Russia to finish fifth at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Tokyo.
Seeking their first win in the six-team tournament and a first victory over Russia in all the FIVB competitions, Thailand came back from behind to stun the world No.6 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23.
Both teams finished the tournament with 1-4 records but Russia came fourth and Thailand secured fifth place due to the difference in sets won. It was an improved result for Thailand, who finished last in the 2009 tournament, when they failed to earn a single point.
Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai congratulated his players for their performances.
"This will give us more confidence and is very important to help improve volleyball in Thailand," he said.
The coach admitted his players had struggled to stop the taller and more powerful Russias, who also blocked well. However, his players served well and counterattacked effectively.
The coach insisted the victory was evidence of Thailand's overall improvement.
A happy team photo.
"We've tried to improve volleyball in Thailand over the last 50 years," he said. "I've coached for 16 years and we never beat Russia. It's my first time so it's a great honour for me."
Thailand captain Wilavan Apinyapong said that the Thais were conscious of their disadvantage in size.
"We know this, so we play as a team in defence and try to control the ball on our side and counterattack," she said.
Russia captain Ekaterina Pankova said that although Thailand had served well, Russia had not blocked well.
"We were a bit tired after the last three days and couldn't play our normal game," she said.
World No.1 Brazil won the title in style, winning all their matches and yesterday beating Japan 29-27, 25-14, 25-18.
Learn from listening
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admit: to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ
blitz: to defeat someone easily in a sports game or competition; to attack suddenly - เอาชนะอย่างง่ายดายในเกมกีฬาหรือการแข่งขัน; โจมตีอย่างรวดเร็ว
celebrate: to do something enjoyable in order to show that an occasion or event is special - ฉลอง
competition: an organised event in which people try to win prizes by being better than other people - การแข่งขัน
confidence: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - ความมั่นใจ
congratulate: to praise someone about their success, good luck or happiness on a special occasion - แสดงความยินดี
conscious: aware - ที่ตระหนักได้
counterattack: to make an attack against someone who has just attacked you in a game, war, or argument - โต้กลับ, ตอบโต้
disadvantage: something that makes someone or something less effective, successful or attractive - ข้อเสียเปรียบ ข้อด้อย
due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
effectively: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
evidence: facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true - หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
historic: of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์
honour: something you do that you are proud of; the respect that people have for someone who achieves something great, is very powerful, or behaves in a way that is morally right - เกียรติยศ, เกียรติ
improve: to get better - ดีขึ้น
improvement: when something gets better or when you make it better - การปรับปรุง, การทำให้ดีขึ้น
insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
inspired: having excellent qualities or abilities; produced with the help of inspiration - ยอดเยี่ยม, ฉลาด, หลักแหลม
normal: typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect - ปกติ, ภาวะปกติ
overall: total; including all the things or people that are involved in a particular situation; general - ทั้งหมด, โดยทั่วไป
performance: the standard to which someone/something does something - การกระทำ, การแสดง, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
secure: to get or achieve something - ได้มา
struggle: to try hard to do something that you find very difficult - พยายาม; ต่อสู้
stun: to surprise or shock somebody so much that they cannot think clearly or speak - ทำให้ตะลึงงัน, ทำให้งง
title: the position of a winner in a sports competition - ตำแหน่งแชมป์
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