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Japan suffered its sixth straight defeat in a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of France despite a brave effort by Takahiro Yamamoto in the men’s World Cup on Friday.

News photoNobuyoshi Hosokawa of Japan spikes the ball during his team’s World Cup match against France at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

Philippe Barca-Cysique was unforgiving on the spike while Hubert Henno played solid defense to lead the World Championship bronze medalist to a 25-23, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Japan at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

France kept alive its chances for an Olympic berth in Athens next year with a 6-3 record, but the host slipped to 3-6 in the tournament standings after a flow of errors stained its performance and denied it the chance to reel in the Frenchmen.

In other games, Brazil came from behind to beat Olympic champion Serbia and Montenegro 3-1 to mark a 9-0 record and is virtually guaranteed a spot for Athens. Serbia and Montenegro fell to 8-1. Italy, which takes on Japan on Saturday, swept the United States in three sets to improve to 8-1 while the American team dropped to 7-2 and is in third place.

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