• Kyodo


Ai Fukuhara rebounded from a disappointing early exit in the singles draw to partner Sayaka Hirano to victory in the second round of the women’s doubles at the World Table Tennis Championships on Friday.

Fukuhara, sent crashing out of the singles second round on Thursday by Germany’s Elke Schall, and Hirano reached the round of 16 with an 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 win over Turkish pair Sirin He and Melek Hu at Yokohama Arena.

“I lost in the singles so wanted to make that extra bit of effort in the doubles,” said Fukuhara. “We are aiming for the top so we will be treating each and every match carefully.”

Fukuhara will get the chance to avenge her singles defeat in the next round against Schall and Wu Jiaduo, who beat South Koreans Park Yong Sook and Seok Ha Jung 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-8.

Hiroko Fujii and Kasumi Ishikawa squandered a two-set lead and were knocked out after going down 4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8 to Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun and Tie Yana.

Hirano also advanced in the mixed doubles, teaming up with Jun Mizutani to beat compatriots Ishikawa and Seiya Kishikawa 9-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 6-11, 4-11, 11-6 but there were defeats for other Japanese pairs Jin Ueda and Haruna Fukuoka and Kunihito Tasei and his wife Mikie.

Fukuhara and Kenta Matsudaira lost in the second round of the mixed doubles earlier in the day.

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