Mima Ito and Kasumi Ishikawa make quarterfinal exits at worlds

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Japanese medal favorites Mima Ito and Kasumi Ishikawa lost their women’s singles quarterfinal matches against their respective Chinese opponents at the table tennis world championships in Houston on Saturday.

Ito faced Wang Yidi for a place in the semifinals, but the Tokyo Olympic singles bronze medalist managed to win only one of five games in a 12-10, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 loss at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“I played my best singles game (of the tournament) today,” Ito said.

Ishikawa was beaten in straight sets, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6, by Chen Meng, who won China’s ninth straight Olympic gold medal in women’s singles table tennis in Tokyo this summer.

“I wasn’t able to put pressure on her when hitting serves and returning serves,” Ishikawa said.

Ishikawa was also eliminated from the women’s doubles after she partnered up with Miu Hirano and put up a fight against defending champions Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha, to whom they eventually lost 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4 in the quarterfinals.

The other Japanese women’s doubles team, Ito and Hina Hayata, advanced to the semifinals and are assured of at least a bronze. Ito and Hayata were the silver medalists at the 2019 world championships in Budapest.

Tomokazu Harimoto and Hayata will also leave Houston with medals after they reached the mixed doubles semis. Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami made it to the men’s doubles semis.

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