Last Updated: August 8, 2012 6:49am
South Korea celebrate their quarter-final success
Europe's involvement in the women's volleyball competition is over after South Korea and Brazil joined the USA and Japan in the semi-finals.
South Korea needed four sets to beat Italians, while Brazil's clash with Russia went right to the wire before the South Americans claimed a five-set win.
Russia, the world champions, had been unbeaten throughout 2012, but they were eventually edged out 24-26 25-22 19-25 25-22 21-19 by the defending champions.
South Korea, who saw the faultless Kim Yeon-koung score 28 points against the Italians, will now face the United States in the last four, with Japan awaiting Brazil.
The Americans were convincing 3-0 winners over the Dominican Republic, while Japan dug in to topple China in five sets.
The USA remain on track for a record fifth straight gold medal in women's basketball after routing Canada.
Welshman Fred Evans faced an anxious wait before finally discovering he had guaranteed a bronze medal.
Germany and Brazil will fight it out for the gold medal in the men's beach volleyball competition.
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