June: Kasumi Ishikawa


The spotlight this month takes a look at Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa who won the 2015 Philippines Open in May.

Last month Ishikawa beat fellow countrywoman Ai Fukuhara 4-2 in the women’s singles final to add yet another ITTF Pro Tour medal to her collection (6 in total), and she teamed up with Maharu Yoshimura to finish runners-up in the mixed doubles event at the 2015 World Championships in Suzhou.

Ishikawa was born in 1993 in Yamaguchi (Japan) and comes from a table tennis orientated family, with her mother being her current coach- her younger sister Rira is also a professional table tennis player. She is a left-handed, aggressive player, uses the Shakehand grip, and represents ZEN-NOH at club level in Japan. Kasumi Ishikawa first got noticed when she began to beat high school and university players who were much older than her in her first All Japan Table Tennis Championships.

Ishikawa went on to win four consecutive All Japan Championships in the junior category from 2007 onwards, and in 2009 she advanced to the last eight of the World Championships in Yokohama.

In 2011 Ishikawa won the National Championships in Japan at the age of 17 and rapidly began to rise up the ITTF World Rankings. She reached a high enough rank to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games where she progressed to the semi-finals of the women’s singles tournament, losing out to eventual gold medallist Li Xiaoxia. Ishikawa eventually finished fourth after losing out to Feng Tianwei of Singapore, but by reaching the last four she had accomplished a fantastic achievement at just 19 years old. She was also part of the Japanese women’s team that won silver at London 2012.

photo provided “courtesy of the ITTF”