by Simon Daish
Jun Mizutani demonstrated his amazing talent from a young age, becoming Japanese national champion aged just 17 and growing into one of the most powerful forces on the world stage.
The 27-year-old also has two ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Men’s Singles trophies to his name and is the highest ranked male Japanese player in the ITTF World Rankings for May 2017.
However, despite his success at major events Jun Mizutani has never won a gold medal at a World Championships.
Rotterdam 2011 and Suzhou 2015 saw Jun Mizutani achieve his personal best finishes in the Men’s Singles competition on the World Championships stage, but the upcoming tournament in Düsseldorf could provide the Japanese player with the perfect opportunity to surpass that record.
The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was one of the standout events on last year’s table tennis calendar as the world’s strongest players gathered to battle it out for one of the most coveted prizes in sport and Jun Mizutani enjoyed what can only be described as a wonderful campaign in Brazil.
Not only did Jun Mizutani outperform his seeding position in the Men’s Singles draw to land a bronze medal in the category, but he also proved to be a highly important figure in the Men’s Team competition as Japan picked up a silver medal.
While Japan may have lost out to China in the Rio 2016 Men’s Team final, Jun Mizutani put in a fantastic display for his nation and registered a stunning victory over Xu Xin in the process (12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11, 12-10).
Seeded sixth for the Men’s Singles competition at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships Jun Mizutani doesn’t head to the event as the overall favourite to succeed in Düsseldorf but, despite his lack of a podium finish at a previous World Championships, the Japanese star remains as one of the biggest threats to China’s title ambitions in Germany.