The Japanese team have suffered the loss of two of their star players in the second day of the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships in Paris; the highest ranking player of their team Jun Mizutani was defeated in the first round of the men’s singles.


Jun Mizutani - Photo by: Feng Li/Getty Images Europe

Ai Fukuhara who was seeded number ten in the championships and one of the women who was considered a threat to the Chinese team was surprisingly denied her ticket into the second round earlier this morning after being defeated by a South Korean qualifier Park Seong Hye who was only seeded at 166 in the tournament giving Fukuhara a major advantage.

In an interview weeks before the championships the Japanese star said “I hope to compete one on one with the Chinese players” unfortunately the young players hopes were shattered today after being defeated in six sets (11-4, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 6-11).


Ai Fukuhara - Photo thanks to ITTF Facebook Page

Fukuhara commented after the match “My understanding of my opponent was not good and I have never played against her in an international competition so my preparation was not that full”.

Meanwhile in the men’s competition Jun Mizutani wasn’t on his top form and was unfortunately defeated in six sets by Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek, at the same time the Chinese team was living up to everyone’s expectations as all players were able to advance into the next round with only Wang Hao and Fang Zhendong losing a set each.

Also legends Werner Schlager and Jean-Michel Saive were able to progress into the next round with Saive showing his stamina and determination in a tight seven set match against Turkey’s Bora Vang. Schlager the 2003 World Championship winner beat Belorussian Pavel Platonov.

German stars Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov who have both been named as two of the biggest threats to the Chinese team had impressive wins into the next round; Timo Boll had a great opening match against Admir Duranspahiv of Bosnia-Herzegovina with a fantastic 4-0 win. Dimitrij Ovtcharov had a successful 4-0 win against Viacheslav Burov of Russia.

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Source: ITTF & TableTennisTa
Written by: Emily Standing