What is the technology behind table tennis gold medalist Mizutani’s indoor glasses?

Mima Ito, left, and Jun Mizutani, right, are seen raising their voices after winning a point in their mixed doubles table tennis semi-final at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo. (Mainichi / Takehiko Onishi)

TOKYO – The gold-medal performance of mixed doubles table tennis partners Mima Ito, 20, and Jun Mizutani, 32, was not the only thing that caught the eye during the first appearance of the event at the Olympic Games; Mizutani’s decision to wear sunglasses indoors during the competition also garnered a lot of interest.

To find out why he would choose to wear sunglasses for indoor competitions and what features they offer him, the Mainichi Shimbuns went straight to their manufacturer.

According to Osaka-based Yamamoto Kogaku Co., which developed the Swans sunglasses brand worn by Mizutani, the table tennis player himself came to see them to discuss glasses that could reduce glare from LED lights. indoor. The company designed the glasses and Mizutani has been wearing them for about a year now.

The company has used technology that adjusts the wavelength of light and developed lenses with the aim of “clearly reflecting the object the wearer wants to focus on, while reducing glare.”

Mixed doubles table tennis partners Mima Ito, right, and Jun Mizutani – wearing her special light-cut glasses – are seen at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo. (Mainichi / Takehiko Onishi)

Takaharu Furukawa, 36, who won silver in men’s individual archery at the London 2012 Olympics and bronze in team archery at Tokyo 2020, wears glasses using the same technology to s ‘ensure that he can better see the center of the target at 70 meters.

Mizutani sunglasses are specially designed with a frame at the bottom. Considered an under-temple design, it keeps the glasses’ center of gravity low to ensure they shake less. The technology was originally developed for long distance runners. The model worn by Mizuki Noguchi, gold medalist in the women’s marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics, has since been refined and improved.

On Twitter, Mizutani’s glasses have become something of a trend, with users posting comments such as “It’s amazing, they look so good they don’t even move a little when he’s screaming” and “They’re too striking. “and,” They’re so cool! A public relations representative for Yamamoto Kogaku said, “We are very happy to have responded to an athlete’s request and to have contributed to his vision by playing.”

(Japanese original by Shohei Kawamura, Sports News Department)

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