Ai Fukuhara partnered Ryusuke Sakamoto to a straight-sets victory over Masato Watanabe and Hime Togo in the final Friday to win their first mixed doubles title at the table tennis national championships.
The 16-year-old Fukuhara and Sakamoto, who plays in the German Bundesliga, triumphed over the 2003 champions with an 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 victory in the final at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. It was Fukuhara’s third national title after winning the women’s doubles crown two years in a row.
In the women’s doubles, Fukuhara and partner An Konishi dropped the first set to sister combo Miyuki and Yuka Nishii, but came from behind to reach the semifinals for the fourth straight tournament. In men’s action, Hiroshi Shibutani, who will end his career after this event, crashed out in both singles and doubles.
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