• Kyodo

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Japan’s women lost its FIVB Women’s World Cup match against the United States on Saturday, leaving the host nation out of the running for one of the two Olympic berths on offer.

Japan’s four-set loss (20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-10) left it with a 7-3 record and in fifth place in the 12-nation tournament with no chance of breaking into the top two, who will receive berths to next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

After winning the first set, the Americans, last year’s world champions, regrouped and used their height and power to full effect.

“I’m very disappointed; the second set was particularly decisive,” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said. “We’d be on the back foot once the U.S. leads with fast, strong serves and we can’t win without taking the initiative.

“We get blocked a lot when we lose so we need to cut down on that.”

China and Serbia top the table, with 9-1 records, although China leads with 27 points. The U.S. and Russia each has an 8-2 record.

Japan will now seek to earn its ticket to Rio in next year’s final Olympic and Asian qualifying tournament.

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