31 Dec 2018

The Youth Olympic Games were staged in Buenos Aires, China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha emerged as the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles gold medallists.

Similarly China enjoyed success at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup and at the Uncle Pop Women’s World Cup with Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning emerging the respective champions. Meanwhile Timo Boll added to his collection, he won the Men’s Singles title at the Liebherr European Championships; thus he extended his record number of wins but he was not the only player to set a record.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

It was the younger generation that shone through as the year came to an end; Kanak Jha of the United States and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, alongside the Japanese duo of Mima Ito and Tomokazu Harimoto, gave performances that were thrilling and mesmerizing.

Holders of both junior and senior titles
Adriana Diaz both Pan American Girls’ Singles and Women’s Singles champion (Photo: Cristian Larrain)


Earlier in the year both Kanak Jha and Adriana Diaz had won the respective Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles titles at the Pan American Junior Championships staged in the Dominican Republic. In November, at the senior version of the tournament in the Chilean capital city of Santiago, they added the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles.

Liking for Sweden
Mima Ito unbeaten in Halmstad, unbeaten in Stockholm (Photo: Rémy Gros)


In April and May at the Liebherr World Team Championships in Halmstad, Mima Ito had remained unbeaten throughout; notably in the final against China she accounted for Liu Shiwen. In early November in Stockholm on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour, she once again displayed her liking for Sweden and her penchant for Chinese adversaries. One after another she beat Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling to claim the Women’s Singles title.

Most incredible Grand Finals ever
Tomokazu Harimoto set yet another incredible record (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Brazil’s Hugo Calderano caused a sensation by recording a Men’s Singles quarter-final success against China’s Fan Zhendong, the world no.1 but in the next round he was beaten by Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. The 15 year old progressed to win the title at the hands of Lin Gaoyuan, also from China and thus set quite unprecedented records for teenage champions.

2018 Review of Year Mima Ito Tomokazu Harimoto Adriana Diaz Kanak Jha