Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Pretty Side of Ping Pong

Source: People's Daily

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.

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."

Seems like a publicity stunt and a sideshow. I'm sure the aforementioned Ai Fukuhara is still the most popular player in Japan since she's in the top 10 in the world and she's cute too. She was Japan's flag-bearer in 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

Here's video of both, you judge for yourself.

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