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Popular teenage table tennis player Ai Fukuhara became the highest-ranked Japanese woman, moving up nine places to 23rd in the latest rankings issued Tuesday by the International Table Tennis Federation.

Fukuhara, who signed with Liaoning of the Chinese Super League last week, leapfrogged 25th-ranked fellow Japanese Aya Umemura on the strength of her victories over eighth-ranked Guo Yan of China and other high-ranking players in last month’s Asian Cup.

Fukuhara, 16, came within four places of matching her career high of 19th she achieved in the ITTF rankings last October.

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