Teenager Ai Fukuhara was selected along with Aya Umemura on Thursday to compete in the women’s singles competition at the World Table Tennis Championships this spring in Shanghai.

Both players passed the qualifying standards to take part in the April meet as the top two Japanese players based on world rankings announced by the ITTF on Wednesday.

“This is the biggest meet of the year, so I’m really relieved to have been picked,” said Fukuhara.

“At the Paris meet, I was winning before I knew what happened, but this time, I want to play my game without worrying about losing or thinking too much. I’ll do my best to do better than last time,” she said.

Umemura is ranked 23rd while Fukuhara is ranked 30th in the world. Fukuhara, who reached the quarterfinals at the 2003 world championships in Paris, will make her second appearance in the elite competition, while Umemura will take part for the fifth time.

Fukuhara and Umemura each advanced into the round of 16 at last summer’s Athens Olympics.

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