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Japanese record

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Miu Hirano has stolen the headlines after a tearful, record-breaking debut at the Japanese table tennis championships.

Hirano became the youngest player to appear at the event on Wednesday, beating the previous record of Ai Fukuhara, who was 10 when she first competed in 1998. The pint-sized Hirano, who can barely see over the net at just 131 centimeters, won her first-round match before falling at the second hurdle in a flood of tears. Japan newspapers universally hailed Hirano as the "Girl Genius."


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