• Kyodo News


Jun Mizutani and Sayaka Hirano won the men’s and women’s singles events, respectively, to claim their third consecutive national titles Sunday.

Mizutani, who won the first of his three titles in 2007 to become the youngest national champion at the age of 17, defeated Kenta Matsudaira 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 17-15 in the men’s final at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

In the women’s final, Hirano edged out former Chinese national team member Wang Hui in a seven-game thriller 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9. Hirano came back from 6-1 down in the decisive game en route to her fifth career national singles crown.

Japanese icon Ai Fukuhara reached the singles semifinals for the first time in the annual national meet with a straight-games win over up-and-coming 15-year-old Kasumi Ishikawa, but was no match for Wang, losing 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.

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