Czech Open: FRANZISKA and GROTH prevented full domination of Japan`s playersPhoto: Czech Table Tennis Association/Jan Brychta
European duo won Men`s Doubles gold, while 14-year-old Tomokazu HARIMOTO became youngest ever ITTF World Tour winner in the Men`s Singles, as he beat Timo BOLL in six games
It was a real sensation what happened in the Men`s Singles final at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Czech Open in Olomouc, concluded on the afternoon of Sunday, August 27th. The fourth seed Tomokazu HARIMOTO became youngest ever ITTF World Tour winner, as he beat in the final clash no.1 seed, 36-year-old Timo BOLL in six games – 4:2 (11:3, 4:11, 8:11, 11:9, 11:6, 11:9). Japans`s player is only 14 years and 61 days old!
Six months ago, at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Indian Open, HARIMOTO was just 13 years and 237 days old when he lost to Dimitrij OVTCHAROV in the gold medal contest.
“Age doesn’t matter, you must play and fight against everyone! It was my second World Tour final, first time I lost my chance, this time I won; now at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games I want to win Men’s Singles and Men’s Team gold but I know I must practice hard and fight to gain the glory”, stressed Tomokazu HARIMOTO.
Earlier in the day, one more Japanese rising star secured gold. It was 16-year-old no.3 Mima ITO who overcame her compatriot and no.1 seed Kasumi ISHIKAWA in five games (11:5, 15:13, 11:3, 9:11, 11:4). It was a full revenge for recent defeat in Panagyrushite, also in the final clash.
Top seeds of the Men`s Doubles, Germany’s Patrick FRANZISKA and Jonathan GROTH prevented full domination of Japan`s players. They overcame no.2 seeds Jin UEDA and Maharu YOSHIMURA in four games – 3:1 (11:6, 8:11, 11:9, 11:8). European duo lost just two sets in total on their way to the gold.
Ono more crown went to Japan. Hina HAYATA and Mima ITO won the Women’s Doubles, beating Sweden`s Matilda EKHOLM and Hungary`s Georgina POTA. European pair led after third set, but lost after full five games – 3:2 (11:5, 8:11, 8:11, 11:6, 11:8).