Japan wins first-ever Table Tennis Olympic gold after beating China
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Japan won its first-ever table tennis gold medal at the Olympics after Jun Mizutani and Ito Mima beat Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen from China. The amazing mixed doubles final went all the way to the last set. Therefore, the Japanese duo maintained their resolve right to the end to overcome the brilliant pair from China.
Xu Xin and the graceful Liu Shiwen are the current world champions. However, despite the Chinese duo taking the first two sets, the game changed dramatically in the third set when Mizutani and Ito won their first set. After this, the Japanese duo reeled in the next two sets until Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen found their earlier rhythm and equaled the game 3-3.
However, the final set was never in doubt because the Chinese duo appeared to wilt under pressure. Therefore, immediately Mizutani and Ito took a big lead and eventually won the deciding set 11-6.
Immediately, Mizutani and Ito were rejoicing because they not only won gold, they made Japanese table tennis history by finally overcoming China after so many historical defeats. Thus emotions sprang in both directions – one with immense joy and the other with dismay.
Mizutani said, “China has beaten us so many times at the Olympics and at the World Championships. I think we were able to avenge all those losses here at the Tokyo Games. I’m really happy.”
The above might not exactly be true even if the sentiments are fully understood. However, for all lovers of Japanese table tennis, it was an amazing victory.
Fittingly the 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6 victory came against great champions from China.
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