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Qualifying battle heats up - London 2012 - Volleyball

The race to qualify in the women's Volleyball tournament took another twist on Day 7, as several contenders recorded crucial wins.

Turkey turned up the heat in Pool B by getting the better of Republic of Korea over five thrilling sets.

Marco Aurelio Motta's side are slowly growing in to the tournament, having gone through the first two games without victory.

They had shown promise in an opening-day loss to Brazil, though, and have since recorded a pair of wins, with today's marathon effort taking a little over two hours after they twice let a one-set lead slip.

The victory puts them above Brazil in the table, pushing the reigning champions back out of the qualification places despite their tense triumph over China in the morning.

Brazil now have to beat Serbia in their last game and even then progression would not be a certainty, while Turkey could still go through even if they lose to leaders the USA in their final game, depending on how Brazil fare.

The defending champion Brazilians survived an almighty scare against China to keep their gold medal defence alive.

The South Americans have been below their best so far in this tournament and a third defeat would have ruled them out of quarter-final qualification.

But they found a way to stay in touch through to their final fixture with so-far winless Serbia, with progression now in their own hands.

It had not looked that way when they squandered a fourth-set match point, but they responded well by getting an early jump on China to take the decider.

Meanwhile, Russia continued their excellent form by seeing off Japan over four sets to preserve their unbeaten record.

Having taken the first two sets, they offered up the third to a quick and agile Japan, before exerting their considerable height advantage again in the fourth.

Great Britain's first window of opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals was shut by the Dominican Republic, while the USA continue to sweep all before them after easing past winless Serbia.

Hugh McCutcheon's side, who are aiming for a first gold medal at the 10th time of asking, have been superb throughout the tournament, peaking with a 3-1 victory over Brazil earlier this week.

Their latest performance was not far behind, with their European opponents given little chance despite their imposing height at the net. They remain rooted to the bottom of Pool B.

The result confirms USA as the pool winners, with their round-robin campaign set to wrap up against in-form Turkey on Sunday.

In the final game of the night, Italy extended their unbeaten run to four games, getting the better of winless Algeria in straight sets.

The Europeans needed just 59 minutes to beat the world number 16s, ensuring the continuation of their 100 per cent record in Pool A in the process.

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