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Mima Ito captures first singles title of season on World Tour

Kyodo

Table tennis star Mima Ito defeated the former women’s singles world No. 1 to capture her first title on this year’s International Table Tennis Federation World Tour at the Austria Open on Sunday.

Ito, ranked seventh in the world, beat China’s Zhu Yuling 4-1 in the final at Tips Arena Linz after winning the opening game 11-5, dropping the second game at deuce 16-18 and then stepping up her play to win the next three games 11-7, 13-11, 12-10.

It was Ito’s first title after reaching four singles finals on the World Tour circuit this season. The 19-year-old finished runner-up at the German Open and Swedish Open last month.

“I played a really good game,” said Ito, who has virtually secured herself a spot at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The Austrian Open is the last World Tour event before the season-ending Grand Finals in Zhengzhou next month.

According to the Japan Table Tennis Association, the top two men’s and women’s singles players on the ITTF’s Olympic ranking list as of January will qualify for the 2020 Summer Games.