• Kyodo

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Mima Ito and Hina Hayata were brushed aside in straight games 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, by Chinese defending champions Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha in the table tennis world championships women’s doubles final on Monday.

Ito and Hayata again came up short in their pursuit of a title in what was a rematch of the 2019 worlds final, soundly beaten on the final day of competition at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Ito, winner of three medals at her home Olympics this summer, and Hayata, a Tokyo Games reserve, were seeking to become the first Japanese women’s doubles pair in 54 years to win a world title.

“It was a confidence boost to win against Chinese players and reach the final,” Ito said.

“But, in all honesty, I feel like nothing matters except for gold so I’m full of disappointment,” she said.

Hayata echoed her feelings about the result.

“I’m really happy to have come this far with Ito but there’s a sense of disappointment in not winning the title. I just have to work harder so that I can one day become a champion,” Hayata said.

In the mixed doubles final, in which Hayata teamed up with Tomokazu Harimoto, it was another missed opportunity as the Japanese pair lost heavily to Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha 11-2, 11-5, 11-8.

Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami won bronze in the men’s doubles.

Japanese players failed to reach the podium in either the men’s or women’s singles events.

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