• Kyodo News

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Host Japan produced an epic comeback to beat Poland in a full-sets thriller Friday in its opening match at the 2010 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship.

Poland looked to be in control after taking the first two sets but Saori Sakoda and Megumi Kurihara helped turn the tables after coming on in the third set as Japan roared back to record a 26-28, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12 win at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

Peru beat Algeria 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 and Serbia coasted to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-14 win over Costa Rica in other Pool A action.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Brazil, bidding for an elusive first world title, opened with a comfortable 25-15, 25-16, 25-11 win over Kenya in Pool B.

Defending world champion Russia beat the Dominican Republic 21-25, 25-9, 25-17, 25-11 in a Pool D match in Osaka.

The United States overpowered Thailand 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21, Germany was a 25-21, 25-14, 25-16 winner over Kazakhstan, and Croatia beat Cuba 25-23, 34-32, 25-21 in Pool C.

In other Pool B games, the Netherlands whipped the Czech Republic 26-24, 25-20, 25-14 and Italy won 25-20, 25-11, 25-18 against Puerto Rico in Hamamatsu. South Korea won 25-19, 25-19, 25-14 against Canada and Turkey defeated China 19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-17 in Pool D.

The top four from each of four six-team groups will advance to the second round. The final will be played in Tokyo on Nov. 14.

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