Fukuhara reaches quarterfinals

Kyodo

Japanese table tennis icon Ai Fukuhara staged a dramatic comeback Monday at the London Games to reach the women’s singles quarterfinals for the first time in three Olympics.

Fifth-seeded Fukuhara outlasted Jie Li of the Netherlands 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 in the fourth round, and will next play world No. 1 Ding Ning of China, who beat Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun 12-10, 11-2, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6.

“I didn’t get defensive even after being down three games to one,” said Fukuhara, who had fallen one win short of reaching the quarterfinals in her previous two Olympic appearances.