SHANGHAI – Teenage table tennis star Ai Fukuhara fell to China’s Guo Yan 4-2 in the women’s singles third round as all of the remaining Japanese players crashed out of the world championships Tuesday.
Fukuhara failed to match her quarterfinal finish in her world championship debut last year in Paris as she lost 11-3, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 to local favorite Guo, who is ranked eighth in the world, at Shanghai Gymnasium.
Also in the women’s singles third round, reigning Japanese national champion Sayaka Hirano was eliminated by Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus, who won a close match 7-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6.
Earlier in the day, Fukuhara and Ai Fujinuma missed out on a podium finish in the women’s doubles as Olympic champions Wang Nan and Zhang Yining of China ousted the Japanese pair with a straight-sets victory in the quarterfinals.
Wang and Zhang, who won the gold at the Athens Olympics last summer, took control of the match from the outset and went on for an 11-3, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 victory.
In the mixed doubles, Fujinuma and Seiya Kishikawa were knocked out in the quarterfinals after an 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 16-14, 11-7 defeat to Guo Yan and Yan Sen of China.
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