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First Olympic gold for Japan, Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito sensational

Monday 26 July

Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito claimed mixed doubles gold in the Metropolitan Gymnasium on the evening of Monday 26th July, the first title to be decided in the table tennis events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

At the final hurdle, they accounted for China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, the top seeds (5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6) to secure the first ever gold medal for Japan in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.

Incredibly, in the vital seventh game they won the first eight points; one had to blink twice to check the score!

The win followed success for Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seeds. In the bronze medal contest, they beat the French partnership of Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jianan, the no.8 seeds (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5).

Impressive performances, earlier, it had been the same in men’s singles round two from India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta; the no.20 seed, he accounted for Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.38 seed (2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Good form from Sharath Kamal Achanta, it was the same from Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.13 seed. In round three, he caused a major upset by beating Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.13 seed (9-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-2, 11-8).

Later,  Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed, inflicted more pain on Hong Kong. He beat Lam Siu Hang, the no.50 seed (11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10).

Meanwhile, in women’s singles round three, Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, was in form. The no.22 seed, she ousted Elizabeta Samara, the no.15 seed (11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 11-2) and former European champion.

Success  for Suthasini Sawettabut means she becomes the first player ever from Thailand to reach the fourth round of a singles event at an Olympic Games.

Progress for Suthasini Sawettabut, it was the same for the most prominent names on day three, round three duty.

China’s Chen Meng, the top seed, made a most emphatic start to her campaign, she beat Rachel Moret, the no.48 seed, in straight games (11-3, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7).

Somewhat similarly, Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.5 seed, overcame Orawan Paranang, the no.49 seed, like Suthasini Sawettabut from Thailand (11-5, 5-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8). Meanwhile, Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.6 seed, ended the hopes of Spain’s Maria Xiao, the no.43 seed (8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4).

Plays continues in both the men’s singles and women’s singles events on Tuesday 27th July; at the end of the day, the quarter-finalists in both disciplines will be known.

Editor: Ian Marshall

Photo Credit: ITTF

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