• Kyodo

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On the announcement of her retirement, four-time table tennis Olympian Ai Fukuhara said that by paving the way for Japan’s new generation of stars, she is leaving the sport in good hands.

Despite never tasting the ultimate success at the Olympics or worlds, Fukuhara has remained firmly in the public eye throughout her career, her rise from child prodigy to elder stateswoman of the national team tracked by hordes of fans in Japan and around the world.

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