02 Jan 2019

Winner of the Men’s Singles title in December at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Incheon, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, only 15 years old, once again sets whole new standards; he is listed at no.3 on the Men’s World Rankings issued for January 2019.

It goes without saying that he is the youngest player ever to have acceded to such an exalted position and one wonders if he may beat the record of China’s Deng Yaping. She was 18 years old when ascending to the top of the Women’s World Rankings in May 1991.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The effect of the rise secured by Tomokazu Harimoto is that China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Germany’s Timo Boll each drops one place; Lin Gaoyuan now appears at no.4, Timo Boll, at no.5; at the very top of the order China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin retain the top two positions. Notably it is the tenth consecutive month that has seen the name of Fan Zhendong in first place; he ascended to the heights in April 2018 and has never relinquished the position.

No change for Fan Zhendong; it is the same for Brazil’s Hugo Calderano who remains at no.6, as it is for the next in line, Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting.

However, there are changes immediately below. Notably the Japanese duo of Koki Niwa and Jun Mizutani both advance; Koki Niwa climbs one place to no.9, Jun Mizutani three places to no.10. Similarly, like Lee Sangsu from the Korea Republic, Jang Woojin advances from a previous career high of no.15 to a new high of no.11.

Significant progress for Jang Woojin who is now one place higher than a most significant name; China’s Ma Long, the reigning Olympic and World champion, drops one position. He completes the top 12 names.

Progress for Jang Woojin, further down the order there is most notable progress for China’s Liang Jingkun and Liu Dingshuo; Laing Jingkun moves from no.36 to no.20, Liu Dingshuo from no.67 no.41.

Notable names advancing, there are three most worthy names moving in the opposite direction. Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov drops from no.9 to no.14, Frenchman Simon Gauzy from no.23 to no.34 and Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira from no.41 to no.61.

One year ago when the Men’s World Rankings were issued for January 2018, Dimitrij Ovtcharov headed the list, Simon Gauzy was at no.9 and Kenta Matsudaira at no.10; they will be hoping the New Year brings better fortunes.
Wednesday 2nd January: Complete World Rankings

World Ranking Tomokazu Harimoto