Japan's Hina Hayata had to settle for a world table tennis championships bronze medal in women's singles on Saturday, after falling to China's world No. 1 Sun Yingsha 4-1 in the semifinals.
Bidding to be the first Japanese woman to reach a singles final since Toshiko Kowada in 1969, Hayata, ranked 10th in the world, had advanced to the semifinals with a win over China's world No. 3, Wang Yidi, in Friday's quarterfinals in Durban, South Africa.
"There is always a higher level. It was a good match, but I still have a long way to go to reach the top," said Hayata, whose bronze is Japan's first medal in women's singles since Miu Hirano's bronze in 2017.