Ishikawa in 2017
23 February 1993|
|Playing style||Left-handed, Shakehand grip, Looper|
|Equipment(s)||Butterfly Innerforce Layer ALC, Nittaku FastArc G-1, DHS Neo Hurricane 3 National Blue Sponge|
|Highest ranking||3 (February 2017)|
|Current ranking||3 (March 2018)|
|Height||1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||51 kg (112 lb)|
Kasumi Ishikawa (石川 佳純 Ishikawa Kasumi) (born 23 February 1993) is a female Japanese table tennis player. Her entire family, which consists of her father, mother, and younger sister, play or used to play competitive table tennis. She has a younger sister, Rira, who is also a professional table tennis player, while her mother Kumi Ishikawa is her current coach. She is a left-handed shakehand holder who primarily uses speedy top-spins and loops in offensive play.
Her ambition has been to play in the Olympics. This dream of hers began when she was a girl, and revealed upon graduation from Hirakawa Primary School in Yamaguchi. She wrote in the yearbook of her dream to play in the Olympics. She first got public attention when she managed to defeat high school and even university students much older than her in her first ever All Japan Table Tennis Championships. Since 2007, she has won the All Japan Table Tennis Championships - female junior division; four years in a row. She was also nicknamed Ai-Chan II, a comparison to fellow athlete Ai Fukuhara, who also started playing table tennis at a young age. She models her underspin serve after Fukuhara.
Her talent for table tennis was due partly to her parents, both former players, who gave Ishikawa special training since she was young. Her mother, Kumi Ishikawa, had played at the national level. In the autumn of her first year of primary school, a special practice area in their house was erected to help her train more rigorously. After graduating from primary school, Ishikawa decided to live away from home and devote herself to table tennis. She entered Shitennoji Habikigaoka Middle School, and then Shitennoji High School in Osaka Prefecture. She practiced with all-Japan-Class players until late at night including holidays. Her aggressive attacking style coupled with formidable speed were developed there. She began working towards the Olympics and played in international tournaments representing her club; ZEN-NOH, Japan.
She competed at the 2009 World Table Tennis Championships, reaching the quarter final of the singles competition. In 2011, she won the national singles title at the age of 17. She quickly rose through the world rankings in recent years and managed to secure a place to compete at the London 2012 Olympics. She is currently ranked 6th in the ITTF women's world ranking as of July 2012 but has achieved ranking as high as 5th. She is now the best female table tennis player in Japan after managing to overtake Ai Fukuhara in rankings.
She reached the semi-finals of the Women's Singles at the London 2012 Olympics but lost out to eventual gold medal winner; Li Xiaoxia of China. In the bronze medal play-off, she lost out to Feng Tianwei of Singapore. She finished an overall 4th position. This was her first ever Olympics participation and despite her young age of 19, she was seeded no. 4 at the Women's Singles Event. She is also the first ever Japanese to have reached the semi-finals of the tournament.
At the Women's Team Event semi-finals, Kasumi Ishikawa helped Japan to overcome Singapore by defeating her quarter-finals opponent in the Single's, Wang Yuegu in three straight games. In the third Double's game, she paired up with Sayaka Hirano to overcome Wang Yuegu and Li Jiawei in three straight games as well. The wins together with Ai Fukuhara overcoming Feng Tianwei in the first game brought Japan to their first table tennis finals in the Olympics in three straight matches. However, Japan failed to beat China in the finals but got their first ever silver medal in table tennis.
She won bronze with the Japanese Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro 2016, beating together with Ai Fukuhara and Mima Ito on her side the team from Singapore. She also represented Japan in the women's singles event, where she crashed out of the tournament after suffering a cramp in her leg, losing 4-3 to North Korea’s Kim Song-i in their third-round match.
At the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships held in Düsseldorf, partnering compatriot Maharu Yoshimura in the mixed doubles event, Ishikawa and Yoshimura progressed through to the final, beating the combination of Fang Bo and Petrissa Solja in the semi-finals, and overcame the Taiwanese pair of Chen Chien-an and Cheng I-ching 4-3 to win the first title in this tournament. It was also Japan's first mixed doubles gold medal after 48 years.
- All Japan Championship: 1st (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016), 2nd (2012, 2013, 2017).
- World Cup: 2nd (2015), 3rd (2014).
- World Tour Grand Finals: 1st (2014), 3rd (2016).
- Asian Championships: QF (2012).
- Table tennis at the 2012 Summer Olympics: 4th (2012).
- World Tour winner (7): Morocco Open (2010), Chile Open (2011), Russian Open(2014), Swedish Open(2016), Bulgaria Open (2015, 2017), German Open(2018).
- World Championships: QF (2009, 2017).
- Asian Cup: 3rd (2007, 2013, 2017).
- World Championships: round of 16 (2011).
- Pro Tour winner (6): Morocco Open (2009); German, Morocco, Hungarian Open (2010), Chile Open (2011), Bulgaria Open (2017).
- Pro Tour Grand Finals: runner-up (2011).
- Asian Games: SF (2010).
- Mixed doubles
- 2017 World Table Tennis Championships - Mixed Doubles: 1st (2017).
- World Championships: 1st (2017), 2nd (2015).
- World Championships: round of 16 (2011).
- Asian Games: SF (2010).
- Asian Championships: QF (2009).
- World Championships: 2nd (2014, 2016), 3rd (2008, 2010).
- World Team Cup: 2nd (2011, 2013); 3rd (2009, 2010, 2015).
- Table tennis at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's team: Silver (2012).
- Table tennis at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's team: Bronze (2016).
- "ITTF players' profiles". International Table Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- "ISHIKAWA Kasumi - Profile". kasumiishikawa.com. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "ITTF world ranking". International Table Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Japanese Medalists in London 2012 Olympics". joc.or.jp. Japanese Olympic Committee. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Biographies". 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved May 3, 2015.[permanent dead link]
- "Winners at the All Japan Table Tennis Championships – Junior Division" (in Japanese). Japan Table Tennis Association. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- "Table Tennis 2010 Interview Of Ishikawa Kasumi(JPN) At Bratislava". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Schoolgirl wins women's national table tennis crown". Kyodo News. January 23, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Women's Team Event semi-finals 1 results". Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Japanese women make it through". Archived from the original on August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Women's team finals results". Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Japan women earn bronze". The Japan News. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "Ishikawa upset in first round of Olympic table tennis tournament". The Japan Times Sports. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- "First title decided: gold for Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa". International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- "ITTF Statistics". International Table Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
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