22 Feb 2020

Play in the individual events in the junior age group completed; the trend at all ITTF World Junior Circuit tournaments is that team events follow, cadet events also being on the itinerary.

One tournament is different, has always been different and will always be different; it is the Safir International in Örebro, of which the 2020 Swedish Junior and Cadet Open is a constituent part. On Friday 21st February, the difference was in evidence but one fact remained the same.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The Elite Series, the Nittaku Cup, men’s singles and women’s singles events were staged; it gave junior players a chance to match their skills against more seasoned opponents, in the past it has also given those seasoned opponents the frights of their lives.

In 2020, both scenarios were witnessed, the names in question, 15 year old Prithika Pavade from France and Japan’s 11 year old Miwa Harimoto. They competed in the women’s singles event.

Following success in the quarter-finals, Prithika Pavade beating Sweden’s Christina Källberg (11-5, 11-8, 11-7) and Miwa Harimoto overcoming Saki Goto, a Japanese student currently studying in Sweden (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6), the two met in the semi-final round.

Tables turned

The previous day when they had faced each other in the junior girls’ singles event at the same stage, Prithika Pavade had won in six games (13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9); in the elite women’s event, Miwa Harimoto extracted revenge, she prevailed in four games (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Miwa Harimoto (left) faces (right) Prithika Pavade in the women’s elite class semi-final (Photo: Per Hällström)


A place in the final booked it was defeat at the hands of Aoi Kurono, also from Japan, a defender and like Saki Goto studying at university in Sweden; Miwa Harimoto was beaten in four games (3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).

Turn back five years

Thus Miwa Harimoto matched her elder brother Tomokazu. Likewise in 2015, when 11 years old, he reached the men’s singles elite class final; at the quarter-final stage he beat Egypt’s Omar Assar (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10), before overcoming Sweden’s Jens Lundqvist (11-6, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9) to reach the title decider, where China’s Xu Hui ended progress (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-2).

Since those days, in the ensuing five years, Tomokazu Harimoto has enjoyed staggering success, what riches lay in store in the next five years for Miwa Harimoto?


Men’s Singles Elite Class

Satoshi Aida (Japan) bt Hampus Nordberg (Sweden) 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9

Hampus Nordberg (Sweden) bt Wu Jiaji (Dominican Republic) 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10
Satoshi Aida (Japan) bt Pär Gerell (Sweden) 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7

Wu Jiaji (Dominican Republic) by Taiyo Uemura (Japan) 11-8, 11-3, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4
Hampus Nordberg (Sweden) bt Narihisa Iwanaga (Japan) 11-2, 11-9, 11-7
Pär Gerell (Sweden) bt Per Sandström (Sweden) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6
Satoshi Aida (Japan) bt Jens Lundquist (Sweden) 7-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9

Women’s Singles Elite Class

Aoi Kurono (Japan) bt Miwa Harimoto (Japan) 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5

Miwa Harimoto (Japan) bt Prithika Pavade (France) 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6
Aoi Kurono (Japan) bt Jennifer Jonsson (Sweden) 11-2, 11-3, 11-7

Prithika Pavade (France) bt Christina Källberg (Sweden) 11-5, 11-8, 11-7
Miwa Harimoto (Japan) bt Saki Goto (Japan) 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6
Aoi Kurono (Japan) bt Yumeko Takayama (Japan) 11-4, 11-4, 11-5
Jennifer Jonsson (Sweden) by Juna Mochizuki (Japan) 12-10, 11-8, 16-14

Note: both Satoshi Aida and Aoi Kurono are defensive players

World Junior Circuit 2020 Sweden Junior & Cadet Open Miwa Harimoto

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