Jun Mizutani, the table tennis player who teamed up with Mima Ito to win Japan’s first Olympic gold medal in table tennis on Monday, July 26, revealed on July 28 that after the championship game, he had been the victim of a disturbing personal attack on his Twitter account.
According to Mizutani, immediately after the shock of his and Ito’s victory over their Chinese opponents in the mixed doubles final, he received the hurtful message from “a certain country,” saying, “You should die, go to hell, get lost forever. ”
However, Mizutani remained unfazed and positive in his outlook.
“I’m too immune for this sort of thing to cause even a millimeter of damage to my heart,” Mizutani said. “In fact, I am delighted that [our victory] got people all over the world so excited.
The 32-year-old table tennis veteran sent his own Twitter message with a happy face emoji attached, thanking the Japanese people for their support.
In the hard-fought final, the Ito-Mizutani duo defeated the Chinese mixed doubles team of Xin Xu and Shiwen Liu by a final score of 4-3. Ito and Mizutani had never managed to beat the Chinese pair in their previous four meetings.
Their decisive triumph is historic in more than one way, since for several decades China has more or less owned table tennis. In fact, China has won 28 of the 32 table tennis gold medals previously awarded since the sport’s introduction at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.
Mizutani told a post-match press conference how elated he was, saying: “Today I lived the moment of my greatest pride as an athlete when the Japanese flag was raised to the top and the national anthem Kimigayo has been played. “
The athlete also highlighted how challenging it has been to dominate China, saying, “The victory also made me realize how difficult it has been to overtake China.”
Mizutani was apparently referring to the “illegal rubber problem” in which Chinese table tennis was involved.
In an October 2012 interview with a Japanese sports newspaper, Mizutani highlighted and protested against inappropriately tampering with the rubber sections of table tennis rackets by adding quick glue or “booster” adhesives to improve the propulsive power of the return.
Mizutani claims that some of the best table tennis players in the world, especially Chinese players, are now even brazenly using an “auxiliary adhesive” to increase the return force delivered by their rackets.
Mizutani nevertheless remains determined to take on the best players in the world using a standard racquet. Now that he’s on top of the table tennis world, in the days to come he can expect to receive a lot more criticism from “a certain country”.
RELATED: TABLE TENNIS | Jun Mizutani, Mima Ito win Japan’s first-ever gold in sports
Author: JAPAN Onward