Ai Fukuhara placed the third highest among Japanese players in the international rankings, the International Table Tennis Federation announced Monday.
The 15-year-old Fukuhara moved up in the ITTF rankings from 46 to 38th to become the highest ranked Japanese after Aya Umemura (26th) and Ai Fujinuma (32nd).
“I was surprised to move up eight ranks since I didn’t think that I had beat so many players ranked higher than me,” said Fukuhara, who reached the women’s singles quarterfinals at the World Championship in May.
Koji Matsushita, in 44th place, is the top Japanese player among male competitors in the international rankings and will compete at the Olympic Asian qualifiers next year from April 9-13 in Beijing.
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