22 Jan 2018

On Wednesday 7th December 2016; Tomokazu Harimoto, at13 years and 163 days old, became the youngest ever player to win the Boys’ Singles title at a World Junior Championships when he succeeded in the Cape Town; last year on Sunday 27th August, in the Czech Republic, he became the youngest ever player to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title. At the time he was only 14 years and 61 days old.

Now has added the list. On Sunday 21st January, at 14 years and 207 days old, he became the youngest ever winner of the Men’s Singles event at the Japanese National Championships.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the final hurdle, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, he beat Jun Mizutani, the nine times former winner, a young man who secured his first such title in 2007 when 17 years old and seven months. Tomokazu Harimoto won in six games to write his name into the history books of sport (11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-5).

A close first game success was undoubtedly a confidence boost but if there is one player in the world who oozes self-belief it is Tomakazu Harimoto. The opening game secured, he built on the success by winning the second, before in the third establishing an 8-5 lead; resolute Jun Mizutani, won the next six points to reduce the arrears to one game.

Would Tomokazu Harimoto experience a reaction from the loss? The answer was positive and immediate, perhaps not one expected. He won the first ten points of the fourth game. Jun Mizutani, to his credit, responded to win the fifth game, before Tomokazu Harimoto secured the sixth to end proceedings.

Defeat for Jun Mizutani but there was success. He partnered Yuya Oshima to Men’s Doubles gold. At the final hurdle the pair beat Jin Ueda and Masaki Yoshida (11-9, 12-14, 11-9, 11-4).

 

Success for Tomokazu Harimoto, earlier in the day there was also success for Mima Ito, she won the Women’s Singles title beating defending champion, Miu Hirano in the final, Miu Hirano having been only 16 years of age when winning in 2017.

Impressively after accounting for another former champion at the semi-final stage, Kasumi Ishikawa (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8) she overcame Miu Hirano in five games to reserve the top step of the podium (11-7, 11-9, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6).

The win meant that Mima Ito depart the Tokyo Metroploitan Gymnasium with three titles to her name.

Earlier in the week she had partnered Masataka Morizono to Mixed Doubles success, the pair accounting for Ryusuke Karube and Yuki Matsumoto in the final (11-8, 11-9, 13-11).

Later in harness with Hina Hayata, the Women’s Doubles title was secured; Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto being the pair to suffer at the final hurdle (5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5).

 

The Emperor Cup in the hands of Tomokazu Harimoto and the Empress Cup grasped by Mima Ito brought to a conclusion seven days action at what was the 78th edition of one of Japan’s most prestigious sporting events.

Defeats for former champions and for one there was a special role; the expert commentator adding her views was Ai Fukuhara.

Some 1,400 players took part; with some 6,000 spectators filling to watch the finals in the venue that will host the table tennis events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Men’s Singles

Quarter-Finals
MIZUTANI Jun bt JIN Takuya 5, 7, 3, 8
MATSUDAIRA Kenta bt MATSUDAIRA Kenji 5, 9, -7, 6, 8
MORIZONO Masataka bt WATANABE Yusuke -10, 8, 7, 13, -11, 5
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt OSHIMA Yuya 12, 4, 4, -8, 10

Semi-Finals
MIZUTANI Jun bt MATSUDAIRA Kenta 5, 8, 8, 10
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt MORIZONO Masataka 7, 8, 8, 8

Final
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt MIZUTANI Jun 9, 5, -8, 2, -6, 5

Women’s Singles

Quarter-Finals 
HIRANO Miu bt MATSUZAWA Marina -11, 9, -3, 10, -4, 9, 8
NAGAO Takako bt SATO Hitomi 10, -7, -8, -3, 9, 9, 7
ITO Mima bt ISHIGAKI Yuka -8, 7, 4, 8, 8
ISHIKAWA Kasumi bt MORI Sakura -8, 8, -14, 7, 11, 7

Semi-Finals
HIRANO Miu bt NAGAO Takako -9, 5, 2, -9, -11, 5, 10
ITO Mima bt ISHIKAWA Kasumi -7, 7, 8, 6, 8

Final
ITO Mima bt HIRANO Miu 7, 9, 2, -5, 6

 Men’s Doubles

Quarter-Finals
MIZUTANI Jun / OSHIMA Yuya bt NIWA Koki / SAKAI Asuka -7, 4, -6, 3, 9
UDA Yukiya / HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt CHAN Kazuhiro / TAKAKIWA Taku -6, 6, 10, 8
UEDA Jin / YOSHIDA Masaki bt MORIZONO Masataka / WATANABE Yusuke -7, 8, 9, 2
FUJIMURA Tomoya / YOSHIMURA Kazuhiro bt MATSUDAIRA Kenji / MORIMOTO Kohei 7, -2, 8, 8

Semi-Finals 
MIZUTANI Jun / OSHIMA Yuya bt UDA Yukiya / HARIMOTO Tomokazu 6, 9, -10, 7
UEDA Jin / YOSHIDA Masaki bt FUJIMURA Tomoya / YOSHIMURA Kazuhiro 4, -8, 8, -11, 8

Final
MIZUTANI Jun / OSHIMA Yuya bt UEDA Jin / YOSHIDA Masaki 9, -12, 9, 4

Women’s Doubles

Quarter-Finals
HAYATA Hina / ITO Mima bt OYA Misaki / AMANO Yu 4, 5, 7
TASHIRO Saki / MAEDA Miyu bt NAKAO Yuko / KABASAWA Kae 9, -9, 8, -7, 5
SATO Hitomi / HASHIMOTO Honoka bt MIYAKE Natsumi / NARUMOTO Ayami 10, 11, 7
UMEMURA Yuka / SHIOMI Maki bt TSUCHIDA Mika / SO Eka 11, 9, -9, 9

Semi-Finals
HAYATA Hina / ITO Mima bt TASHIRO Saki / MAEDA Miyu 6, -9, 10, 6
UMEMURA Yuka / SHIOMI Maki bt SATO Hitomi / HASHIMOTO Honoka 11, 8, 8

Final
HAYATA Hina / ITO Mima bt SATO Hitomi / HASHIMOTO Honoka -5, 7, 9, 5

Mixed Doubles

Quarter-Finals
MORIZONO Masataka / ITO Mima bt OIKAWA Mizuki / ANDO Minami 9, 8, 7
OSHIMA Yuya / HAYATA Hina bt MORITA Yuki / TAIRA Yurika 8, -13, 10, -9, 7
KARUBE Ryusuke / MATSUMOTO Yuki bt KORIYAMA Hokuto / AKITA Kanako -9, -9, 7, 8, 2
YOSHIMURA Maharu / ISHIKAWA Kasumi bt CHAN Kazuhiro / MORIZONO Misaki 6, -9, 6, 5

Semi-Finals
MORIZONO Masataka / ITO Mima bt OSHIMA Yuya / HAYATA Hina 10, 7, 8
KARUBE Ryusuke / MATSUMOTO Yuki bt YOSHIMURA Maharu / ISHIKAWA Kasumi -9, 6, 6, 3

Final
MORIZONO Masataka / ITO Mima bt KARUBE Ryusuke / MATSUMOTO Yuki 8, 9, 11

 Junior Boys’ Singles

Quarter-Finals
UDA Yukiya bt MIYAGAWA Shodai 5, 2, 8
KANAMITSU Koyo bt TEZUKA Ryoma 8, -8, 4, -8, 6
TOGAMI Shunsuke bt ASAZU Aoto 12, 9, 9
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt HAMADA Kazuki 9, 7, 4

Semi-Finals
UDA Yukiya bt KANAMITSU Koyo 11, -9, 13, 13
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt TOGAMI Shunsuke 5, 7, 7

Final
HARIMOTO Tomokazu bt UDA Yukiya 9, 9, 9

Junior Girls’ Singles

Quarter-Finals
NAGASAKI Miyu bt IZUMO Miku 8, 5, -9 -6, 9
ODO Satsuki bt OKAZAKI Hiyori -17, 2, 6, 6
KIHARA Miyuu bt SUGASAWA Yukari 6, -8, 8, 10
SHIOMI Maki bt CHIBA Natsuki 5, 8, 9

Semi-Finals
NAGASAKI Miyu bt ODO Satsuki 6, -9, -9, 9, 9
SHIOMI Maki bt KIHARA Miyuu -4, -6, 10, 8, 9

Final
NAGASAKI Miyu bt SHIOMI Maki -5, -5, 11, 5, 8

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