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Tomokazu Harimoto, Mima Ito headline Japan's 2020 table tennis squad

Kyodo

The Japan Table Tennis Association announced Monday the six players who will represent the Olympic host nation at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The men’s team consists of world No. 5 Tomokazu Harimoto, No. 15 Koki Niwa and No. 16 Jun Mizutani, while the women’s team is made up of No. 3 Mima Ito, No. 9 Kasumi Ishikawa and No. 11 Miu Hirano.

Harimoto, Niwa, Ito and Ishikawa confirmed their places in the singles tournaments as Japan’s top-ranked players determined by the listings released Thursday by the International Table Tennis Federation.

Mizutani and Ito will form the mixed doubles team based on the JTTA’s recommendation. The event was added to the Olympic program for the Tokyo Games.

Harimoto and Hirano will be making their Olympic debuts, while Ito will appear at her second straight games after helping Japan’s women win bronze in Rio de Janeiro.

Niwa and Ishikawa booked their spots for the third consecutive games, while fellow two-time Olympic medalist Mizutani qualified for his fourth straight tournament since making his debut at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Japan secured the six berths automatically as Olympic host.