13-year-old Tomokazu HARIMOTO (JPN) has continued his dream run at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships to become the youngest ever player to make it to top eight at a World Championships.
Only playing in his first World Championships, the Japanese wonder boy has had an incredible tournament so far, sensationally upsetting Rio 2016 bronze medalist Jun MIZUTANI, and beating Belgium’s Cedric NUYTINCK as well as Chinese Taipei’s LIAO Cheng-Ting to reach the Round of 16 today.
Against Lubomir PISTEJ (SVK) today, HARIMOTO showed maturity beyond his age to pull off a 4-1 (12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9) victory to book his place in the Men’s Singles quarterfinals, where he will face the winner between China’s LIN Gaoyuan and world number three XU Xin (CHN) which is played tomorrow.
“I want to do the same as I did before in each match, so I just want to play my game and think from match to match,” stated HARIMOTO. “Because I lost in the All Japan Championships earlier this year, I practiced more and more and really gave my best for this Championships.”
Korea Republic’s LEE Sangsu continued his giant slaying quest in Düsseldorf, after causing a massive upset over Grand Slam Champion ZHANG Jike last night, the 26-year-old defeated table tennis legend Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) to reach top eight.
LEE will meet world number seven WONG Chun Ting (HKG) in the quarterfinal stage, similar to their last encounter at the 2016 Men’s World Cup.
Local hero Timo BOLL thrilled the 8,000 capacity crowd to defeat Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS 4-1 (5-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6) to set up a quarterfinal meeting with his Men’s Doubles partner, reigning World & Olympic Champion MA Long (CHN) who will be looking at defending his title here in Düsseldorf.
In a hard-fought match between world number two FAN Zhendong (CHN) and local favourite Ruwen FILUS, it was FAN who prevailed to end FILUS’s run in the Men’s Singles event 4-2 (13-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-3). The 20 year old will encounter the winner between Rio 2016 Team silver medalist Koki NIWA and world number five Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER).
Today will be another action packed day with more thrillers and drama on show at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships where the Women’s Singles World Champion & the Men’s Doubles World Champions will be decided:
13:30 (GMT+2) – Women’s Singles Gold medal match: DING Ning (CHN) VS ZHU Yuling (CHN)
16:30 (GMT+2) – Men’s Doubles Gold medal match: Masataka MORIZONO / Yuya OSHIMA (JPN) VS FAN Zhendong / XU Xin (CHN)
Fans can watch all matches live from 10:00 local time on ITTF’s online streaming platform itTV: tv.ITTF.com.