The finals of the Japanese Table Tennis championships saw a major upset on Sunday (9 December) when the world champion, Seiji Ono, was defeated in the men's singles.
The finals of the Japanese Table Tennis championships saw a major upset on Sunday (9 December) when the world champion, Seiji Ono, was defeated in the men's singles. Ono lost to fermer japanese champion Norio Takashima by three games to one, in a tense finals match.
SYNOPSIS: A big crowd turned out to see Ono defend his reputation as the world's best. He started well against Takashima, who, until this match, was rated ninth in the world.
Early in the match, Ono exhibited the winning style that had made him world champion and it appeared he would easily win the All Japan title.
But after loosing the first game to Ono 24-26, Takashima began to fight back and put pressure on the champion. The left-handed Ono started to falter, allowing Takashima to take the lead in the second game, which he won 21-15. Takashima's winning streak continued over the next two games, defeating Ono 21-17 and 21-19.
Despite the down-turn in the champion's fortunes, the competition between the two contenders was fierce. The crowd at the Tokyo Municipal Gymnasium were treated to some sparkling rallies throughout the match but it became clear that the world champion was off form.