For the first time since 2004, a country other than China has won an Olympic table tennis event.
Japan’s Mizutani Jun and Ito Mima rallied after losing the first two sets to China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, taking the next three sets by close margins (11-8, 11-9, 11-9) to move one set away from the upset. But Xu and Liu took the next set 11-6 to tie the match and claim momentum.
That momentum disappeared quickly. Mizutani and Ito ran off the first eight points of the final set. China pulled with four points at 9-5 and 10-6, but Japan won the next point to seal the win.
Ito had a cameo in the Japanese romantic comedy Mixed Doubles.
Since 1996, the only table tennis event not won by a Chinese player or pair was the men’s singles event in 2004.
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