14 Jun 2017

Ma Long versus Fan Zhendong, the final of the Men’s Singles event at the recently concluded Liebherr 2017 World Championships; it is a contest that will be talked about for evermore but prior to the epic duel, the name on everyone’s lips was that of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto.

Incredibly the 13 year old progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event where China’s Xu Xin ended adventures but not before the teenager had audaciously extracted the second game.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Now for the Düsseldorf sensation, it is back to earth; it is start all over again. He must compete in the two day qualification which precedes the main event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Japan Open.

The qualification tournament commences on Wednesday 14th June, the main event on Friday 16th June.

Furthermore, he is not alone amongst names that impressed in Düsseldorf; China’s Lin Gaoyuan, Korea’s Jeong Sangeun and Germany’s Ruwen Filus, all reached the fourth round of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, they  must compete in the qualification rounds in Tokyo.

Similarly listed in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event in Tokyo are names that advanced to the third round in Düsseldorf. Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu, Frenchman Tristan Flore and Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam in addition to Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, Korea’s Jang Woojin and Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting, all appeared amongst the last 32 in the Germany city.

Equally, in addition to Yuto Muramatsu and Jang Woojin, there are further players competing in the initial stage of proceedings, who have ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles to their credit.

Maharu Yoshimura, like Yuto Muramatsu from Japan, alongside Singapore’s Gao Ning, Germany’s Ricardo Walther and Egypt’s Omar Assar have all ascended the heights, as has the Hong Kong pairing of Ho Kwan Kit and Jiang Tianyi.

Furthermore, you can add more in form players to the qualification equation; on this year’s ITTF Challenge Series, Bastian Steger won in Slovenia, Japan’s Jin Ueda in Thailand. They both play in stage one in Tokyo.

Now list the players who reached the third round or better in Düsseldorf; it is ten in number, add the six players who have also won on the ITTF World Tour, plus the two who emerged victorious on this year’s Challenge Series, it is 18 in total.

There are only 16 places available to join the 16 seeds in the first round of the main event; someone and, with the likes of China’s Liang Jinkun also on duty, maybe more than two will fall short?

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Japan Open Tomokazu Harimoto

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