Japanese prodigy Mima Ito produced one of the biggest shocks in International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour history by winning German Open in Bremen at the age of 14.
The sensation, winner of last year’s German Open doubles title when only 13, remains over 200 days away from her 15th birthday and was not even born until three weeks after the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
But she made a mockery of her lack of experience by winning a thrilling battle with home hope Petrissa Solja after recovering from 2-1 down.
The teenager proved immune to the vocal home support as she fought back to win the last two games from deuce and eventually triumph 9-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 14-12, 12-10, before declaring a Tokyo 2020 medal as her ultimate aim.
“I am shocked and ecstatic to win such a big title at my age,” she said.
“This is just the beginning for me, I now need to continue playing at this high level and win many more titles.”
“I now want to qualify for the Japanese team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and do well.
“This will then give me the experience I need of realise my dream of gold in the singles and team event at my home Olympics, Tokyo 2020.”