• Kyodo

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Japan’s Ai Fukuhara outdueled Austria’s Jia Liu 4-1 in the women’s singles third-round on Thursday, the fourth day of the World Table Tennis Championships in Paris.

Competing at the Bercy Sports Center, Fukuhara, ranked 91st in the latest world ranking, took the first two sets 11-7, 12-10. The 14-year-old Fukuhara, the youngest-ever member of the national team, dropped the third set 11-9, but gritted her teeth to earn the next two sets 11-9, 11-9 to beat her world 44th-ranked opponent.

Fukuhara, popularly called “Ai-chan” from her given name, overcame world No. 12 Li Jia Wei of Singapore 4-2 in the second round.

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