Japan’s Mima Ito, 15, secures team bronze in table tennis

Reigning champions China defend their gold against Germany in the final later on Tuesday evening.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro | Published: August 16, 2016 11:50 pm
Japan Table Tennis, Table Tennis Japan, Mima Ito Japan, Japan Mima Ito, Mama Ito Japan medal, Japan Bronze medal, Bronze medal japan, Sports Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN) of Japan, Ai Fukuhara (JPN) of Japan, Mima Ito (JPN) of Japan and their coach Yasukazu Murakami celebrate after winning their match against Singapore. (Source: Reuters)

Japan’s 15-year-old Mima Ito won the game that secured her country a women’s team bronze medal, triggering an emotional reaction from her team mate on Tuesday.

The world number nine defeated Feng Tianwei in the fourth singles to complete the 3-1 win.

As the winning ball was struck, Ito’s team mate Ai Fukuhara started crying, before the trio, which included Kasumi Ishikawa, waved and bowed to a boisterous crowd, the majority of whom had cheered them on.

In the doubles, “Kasumi did a very good job and she got one point, but in my opinion it was worth five points…That gave us energy to carry on,” said Ai, who lost out narrowly on an individual medal to North Korea’s Song I KimXiaoxia Li.

“I couldn’t get the medal in the individual so this time I really committed myself to getting the medal and then going back to Japan,” she said.

Singapore’s Feng, the world number four, said her team mates Yu Mengyu and Zhou Yihan played very well, but she was not satisfied with her own performance.

“I didn’t adjust to the match very well,” she said. “I allowed myself to be stifled by the opponent, so I felt very gloomy on court,” she said.

Reigning champions China defend their gold against Germany in the final later on Tuesday evening.

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