Japan appeal after Ito, Hayata lose the disputed final

The Japan Table Tennis Association has filed a protest with the International Table Tennis Federation over a disputed ruling in the women’sJapan appeal after Ito, Hayata lose the disputed final

doubles final at the just-ended table tennis world championships in Budapest, sources said Sunday.

According to the sources, Japanese officials asked the sport’s governing body that an instant video replay system is introduced after Mima Ito and Hina Hayata disagreed on a let serve call that turned the tide in favor of their opponents in the final earlier that day.

In the fifth seesaw game after each won two games apiece, with the score tied 9-9, the officials called Hayata’s first service a “let” for touching the net.

Ito and Hayata, who thought they had won the point, opted to take a timeout after disputing the call, but China’s Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu took the game 12-10 and the lead for the first time, before going on to claim the match 4-2.

“I was sure it (the decision) was wrong and I said so to the umpire, but she wouldn’t even look at the video. I don’t want to make excuses but that one point made a big difference. (Had we won it) I feel like we could’ve gone on to win the match,” Ito said.

According to ITTF sources, the chief umpire was Malaysian and the assistant umpire was from Sweden.

Sun and Wang came from two games down to defeat the top seeds 8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8 to clinch gold, denying the Japanese duo their first world title. China left the worlds with a clean sweep of all five gold medals.

Ito and Hayata were the first women’s Japanese doubles pair since 1971 to reach a world championships final.

In tennis, the video review system gives players the chance to challenge judgment calls from the umpire, and in soccer, the video assistant referee (VAR) is used to aid refereeing decisions.

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