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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 11:08 UK

China beat Belarus to reach semis

China basketball
China celebrate their first Olympic semi-final since 1992

Chinese captain Miao Lijie hit 28 points to lead her team past Belarus 77-62 and into the Olympic semi-finals.

The victory sets up a semi-final tie against world champions Australia, who beat the Czech Republic 79-46.

The United States also had an easy win, 104-60 over South Korea with Sylvia Fowles scoring 26 points.

Russia will be the US's semi-final opponents after they came back from an 18-point first-quarter deficit to defeat Spain 84-65.

Tatiana Schchegoleva was Russia's hero, scoring 19 points.

Miao has now scored 117 points in her six outings for China and is the tournament's leading scorer.

Under Tom Maher, a former coach of Australia's Opals, China now have a chance of winning their first Olympic basketball medal since a silver in Barcelona in 1992.


Australia's victory over the Czechs was never in doubt. They took a 10-point lead in the first quarter and had doubled it midway through the second.

All 12 Opals scored points, led by 17 points from Lauren Jackson and 15 from Belinda Snell.

The only disappointment for the Opals came when forward Penny Taylor limped out of the game with an ankle sprain that may keep her out of Thursday's semi-final.

USA led Korea by just four points after 10 minutes, but then won the second quarter 26-9 to gain a stranglehold on a place in the last four.

see also
Aussie comeback destroys Russia
17 Aug 08 |  Basketball
Revenge for US in rout of Greece
14 Aug 08 |  Basketball
James leads US to basketball win
12 Aug 08 |  Basketball
Star-studded US overwhelm China
10 Aug 08 |  Basketball
Yao Ming to carry flag for China
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
GB absent from Beijing basketball
30 Nov 07 |  Basketball

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