Star paddler Mima Ito becomes the only Japanese remaining in table tennis competitions, while all Chinese paddlers advanced to the singles semifinals.
TOKYO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Host favorite Mima Ito came out the sole Japanese surviving Wednesday's play at Olympic table tennis competitions, while Chinese paddlers all made through to the men's or women's singles semifinals.
The third-seeded Ito, who partnered with Jun Mizutani to have won the first gold medal of mixed doubles in the Olympic history two days ago, also the first Olympic gold for Japan, made it short to beat South Korea's Jeon Ji-hee in four straight sets, 11-5, 11-1, 12-10, 11-6.
"From the first set, it was good. I played with a clear mind, so it was a very good game," said Ito, a member of the Japanese women's team that finished the Rio 2016 campaign with a bronze medal.
"Jeon serves and receives well. She's a really powerful player. So my plan was to play my own game, and then try to avoid giving away cheap points," she added.
Ito will meet No. 2 seed Sun Yingsha of China in the women's singles semifinals after the latter denied the chance of defensive Han Ying of Germany, also in 4-0, late on Wednesday afternoon to advance.
Talking about her preparation for the matchup of two 20-year-old, the Japanese top-rated girl said: "The important thing is, of course, I've to prepare, and then I have to sleep well. And then, finally, I have to play with joy."
The other women's singles semifinal encounter will pit world No. 1 female paddler Chen Meng of China and Singapore's Yu Mengyu.
Chen rallied past 24-year-old sensation Doo Hoi-kem from China's Hong Kong with a 4-2 comeback win, while Yu is the 4-1 winner over Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa earlier on Wednesday morning.
In the men's play, top seed Fan Zhendong set up a semifinal meet with the Chinese Taipei's teenage sensation Lin Yun-Ju after Fan eased past South Korean Jeoung Young-sik 4-0 and Lin won 4-0 to end Slovenian Darko Jorgic's heroic run at the Tokyo Olympics.
Chinese captain and reigning Olympic and world champion Ma Long will play German great Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the other men's singles semifinal after Ma defeated African champion Omar Assar of Egypt 4-1 and Ovtcharov came back from two sets down to beat Brazilian talent Hugo Calderano.
The Olympic table tennis venue will expect the women's singles semifinals on Thursday morning before the bronze medal match and final coming up in the evening.