Yotsumoto shows the pretty side of ping-pong

08:31, April 02, 2010      

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She's never broken into the world's top 150 but Japan's Naomi Yotsumoto is still a star on the table tennis world stage.

Japan's Naomi Yotsumoto was in the spotlight thanks to her good looks and fashionable attire at the Table Tennis Volkswagen Cup in Guangzhou over the weekend. (China Daily)

Wearing knee-length socks, a pleated mini-skirt or a shirt with one bare shoulder during her games, the woman dubbed the "Lady Gaga of pingpong" receives as much attention as the finest players.

"I like table tennis and fashion. I think it's best to look fashionable when playing table tennis," the youthful-looking 31-year-old said at the Volkswagen Cup in Guangzhou.

A second-tier player in Japan, Yotsumoto didn't come to compete at the event, which featured the top players from eight countries, including her compatriot Ai Fukuhara.

Instead, she was invited to participate in an exhibition match in clothes she had designed as well stage a fashion show featuring her stylish sportswear.

"I'm still learning design in Tokyo while playing professional table tennis. I hope more players will wear the sportswear designed by me," she said. "Now, most of the women players are still wearing shorts. I think if they wear more beautiful clothes, the games will be much more interesting."

Adham Sharara, president of the International Table Tennis Federation, agrees with Yotsumoto.

"The player is wearing a new type of clothing and it is very good for our sport we encourage it," Sharara said, noting it could be an effective way to make the game more appealing, especially on TV.

"It will show the players, especially those from China, how you can wear different kinds of clothes to make the women look more feminine while also being comfortable to play in."

Most Chinese women's players tend to wear traditional sports shorts while all top six Chinese players, who are also ranked in the world top 10, keep their hair short.

"I hope some of the Chinese players can wear more feminine clothes like tennis and others sports because they are the top players in the world and all the others look at them," Sharara said. "But we cannot make rules about the clothes you wear during games. This is still up to each player."

Source:China Daily

(Editor:intern1)

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