After the match, she flashed a “perfect score” smile! Hina Hayata, the queen of the table tennis world: “Three years since the Tokyo Olympics, when I was an alternate. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

After the match, she flashed a “perfect score” smile! Hina Hayata, the queen of the table tennis world: “Three years since the Tokyo Olympics, when I was an alternate.

She won the All-Japan Table Tennis Championships with her overwhelming strength! The third runner-up, who had been hiding behind "Miu Miu" of the same generation, bloomed a big flower in Paris! Only the awakened Japanese queen can beat the Chinese player!

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Born in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. His highest ranking in the world is No. 4 in singles and No. 10 in doubles, both of which are good enough for a medal at the Olympics. She is a left-handed player, which is a minority in the world, and her game is her weapon.

Hina Hayata, 23, won for the third time in two consecutive years by defeating 15-year-old Miwa Zhang 4-0 in the final of the All-Japan Table Tennis Championships on January 28.

Hayata said, “I played six games in this tournament, but I lost only one game, so I didn’t have any exciting matches that made me sweat. After the match, Hayata said with a smile, “The theme of this tournament was to play only with technique. He still had some energy left in him. It was a frightening comment, even for those of us who have been covering the tournament for many years.
It is true that he did not use his signature hard-hitting technique, also known as the “Hina Bazooka,” very much in this tournament. In the future, when she combines this technique with her usual power, she will be unstoppable.

Hayata now boasts of her unrivaled strength, but at the Tokyo Olympics in 2009, she watched the women’s team win the silver medal as an alternate behind her contemporaries Miu Hirano (23) and Yoshimasa Ito (23). Jota Ito, a table tennis columnist, said.

While Hirano and Ito had already made their mark at an early age, Hayata was a late bloomer in the world of table tennis, winning her first national championship in the first year of junior high school. This is because he has been taught to hit the ball as hard as he can without aiming to play small-scale table tennis to win the game in front of him. Hayata is currently 167 cm, which is quite tall and has a long reach in the women’s table tennis world. In order to take advantage of this weapon, she needed to develop a dynamic form, even if it meant making a lot of missed shots at first.”

Behind this seemingly risky policy was the bond with the prestigious Ishida Table Tennis Club in Fukuoka, where Hayata was coached.

As Hirano has changed clubs and coaches, it is common practice in the table tennis world to change coaches as a player grows. However, from the age of 4 to the present, Hayata has been under the guidance of the father and son who founded the Ishida Table Tennis Club, and has consistently focused on developing her strengths,” said Ito.

Now, such a great talent is finally being perfected. His dynamic form has caught up with his muscular strength, and he is hitting the ball even faster.

I didn’t think the road to the Olympics would be this tough. I’m glad I was able to make it through there in first place from start to finish.

The biggest obstacle to Hayata’s gold medal bid will be the Chinese table tennis powerhouse, which dominates the world rankings from No. 1 to No. 4.

At last year’s World Championships, Hayata won the bronze medal by defeating Wang Geidi (26), who is ranked No. 2 in the world. What is surprising is that Hayata beat the Chinese player with his royal style. Japanese athletes have often taken strange strategies against Chinese athletes and won by “strategy, but Hayata won the match by going head-to-head against the best in the world.
His smile during the match is also a threat. For Chinese fighters, who are fighting desperately under the pressure of carrying their country on their backs and being hung out to dry if they lose, Hayata’s relaxed expression is eerie. Hayata has already reached the world’s highest level in both ability and mental strength, but he also has the stoicism of a seeker who will not stop practicing until he is satisfied. I am sure she will show further growth in the six months leading up to the Olympics.

The Japanese queen is steadily approaching her goal of becoming the world’s No. 1 player, as originally planned.

A post-match photo with Miwa Zhang. The future of the table tennis world is bright as young talents emerge one after another.

From the February 16, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takao Fujita / Fortximoto

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