By Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor and Neha Aggarwal
Occupying the top seeded position in the draw, he beat Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.14 seed in four straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 14-12) and thus stopped the Japanese prodigy from being the youngest player ever to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title.
The honour still belongs to China’s Yu Ziyang; he was 16 years and 30 days old when on Sunday 22nd June he succeeded at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Yokohama.
However, aged 13 years and 237 days, Tomokazu Harimoto does have the privilege of being the youngest ever ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles finalist and there is still time to match the record of his compatriot Mima Ito.
On Sunday 22nd March 2015, she was 14 years 152 days old when she won the Women’s Singles title in Bremen, Germany.
Success for Dimitrij Ovtcharov means that he has enjoyed a dream start to the year; it is three consecutive titles in February. On Sunday 5th February, he won the Europe Top 16 event in the French Riviera coastal resort of Antibes; one week later he clinched the Men’s Singles title at the DHS Lausanne Open, before today succeeding in India’s capital city.
After his win, a delighted Ovtcharov said, “I felt a lot of support here in New Delhi, I am so glad that I was able to defend my title that I had won seven years back in 2010. I really thank the Indian fans for the support”
“I received so many messages from people who kept saying- Dima, this guy is 13 years old but don’t think about his age, think about your own game. I have heard his age so many times in the last 24 hours. I felt a bit of a pressure. But Harimoto is an amazing player for his age and I think he has a very very bright future.”- Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Furthermore, in 12 appearances in ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles finals, Dimitrij Ovtcharov has now won six times.
In addition to his now two wins in New Delhi, he won in Brazil and Korea in 2011; in Germany in 2012 and 2014. He was the runner up in Denmark in 2009, in Germany in Poland the following year as well as in Germany in 2013. Later in 2015 he experienced the same fate in Qatar and Austria; last year in Poland, as in 2010, he was the silver medallist.