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Yui Kamiji, Shingo Kunieda win gold, qualify for 2020 Paralympics

Kyodo

Wheelchair tennis players Yui Kamiji and Shingo Kunieda on Friday became the first two Japanese athletes to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games by winning gold at the Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

Kamiji defeated China’s Zhu Zhenzhen 6-3, 6-4 in the women’s singles gold-medal match.

In a later match, Kunieda defeated compatriot Takashi Sanada 6-2, 6-3 in the men’s final.

The winners of the singles tournaments at the eight-day games automatically qualify for the 2020 competition.

With her victory, the 24-year-old Kamiji, who is No. 2 in the latest International Tennis Federation women’s wheelchair tennis rankings, became the first Japanese to qualify for either the Tokyo Olympics or Paralympics.

She is set to compete in her third straight Summer Games following London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Kamiji also won bronze in women’s singles at the Rio Paralympics.

The 34-year-old Kunieda, No. 1 in the men’s ITF rankings, who has amassed 22 career Grand Slams, will be looking to add a third Olympic gold after claiming victories at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.