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No 2 seed Harimoto falls at first hurdle at table tennis worlds

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-11-25 14:54
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HOUSTON - Japanese teenage sensation Tomokazu Harimoto crashed out at the first hurdle of his third World Table Tennis Championships campaign, losing 4-3 to Poland's Jakub Dyjas here on Wednesday in the men's singles second round.

The 18-year-old No. 2 seed, rated fifth in the world rankings, opened it well to fire down the first set 11-7, but was tied on sets for three times and forced the decider, where his world No. 65 opponent rounded up the match 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9.

"I took my chances well against Harimoto. Mentally and tactically, it worked for me," Dyjas commented after the match.

"I'm really happy to have beaten one of the top seeds at this tournament. It's a nice victory and I know I have to play even better in the next round to continue to do even better," added the Pole.

Born to two former Chinese national team members, Harimoto became the youngest world junior champion in 2016 when he was just 13.

He went on to break more records by becoming the youngest ever men's singles winner at an ITTF World Tour event (the Czech Open) at 14 and becoming the youngest player to win the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals at 15.

His recent top-class competitions results, however, were not satisfying as he was stopped in the last 16 at last summer's Tokyo Olympic Games and finished a quarterfinalist in his first outing to world championships in 2017 before being ousted in the round of 16 in 2019 and round of 64 this time.

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