Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Japanese table tennis star Ishikawa announces retirement

Japanese table tennis star Kasumi Ishikawa, who won three women’s team medals at three consecutive Olympic Games, announced her retirement on Monday.

The 30-year-old Ishikawa made the announcement in Japanese on Instagram and in Chinese on Weibo.

She said she had decided to call it quits after the WTT Macau in April when she lost to China’s Chen Meng in the women’s singles round of 16.

“The 23-year playing career has brought me precious experiences in my life,” she said. “Starting to play table tennis at 7 and representing Japan in international competitions from 14, I am very happy that many of my dreams have come true.”

Ishikawa, who won five national women’s singles championships, was a key figure when the Japanese women’s team won the silver medal, the country’s first Olympic table tennis medal, at London 2012. She went on to help Japan win the women’s bronze medal in Rio 2016 and silver again in Tokyo 2020.

She was very thankful for her Chinese coaches and fans in China.

“I have met many Chinese coaches since high school,” she said. “I also learned Chinese culture and the language from them. I feel happy that I can communicate with fans and friends from China.”


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