Tomokazu Harimoto – The Ping Pong Genius

Tomokazu Harimoto was born on the 27th of June 2003. However, Tomokazu is a table tennis player from Japan. As young as he was in 2018, Tomokazu cliched the 2018 World Junior Single. Also, Harimoto and his teammates won the Team Championships for Japan at the ITTF World Junior Championships in 2018. No doubt, Tomokazu has shown great strides in his table tennis play. Let’s see how far Tomokazu Harimoto has come in the sports of table tennis. Meanwhile, you can also visit http://www.pongplace.com/ to learn more about ping pong greatest players.

Tomokazu Harimoto’s Background

Tomokazu spent his childhood in Sendai, China. He was named Zhang Zhihe probably because he was born in China. Harimoto Father Zhang Yu coaches junior boys for Japan likewise his mother Zhang Ling . Tomokazu’s parents also played professional table tennis. Tomokazu’s mother competed in the 43rd World Table Tennis Championships held in Tianjin. Also, he was introduced to table tennis when was two years old. By the time Tomokazu was 11 years, he got Japanese citizenship. Also, changed his name from Zhang Zhihe  to Tomokazu. Harimoto also had his elementary school at East Miyagi Elementary School before he enrolled into “JOC Elite Academy.”

Lost Wins

Harimoto lost to the 157th seed South Korean AHN Jaehyun at the World Table Tennis Championships in Budapest, Hungary in April 2019, failing to progress to the final eight despite being ranked fourth in the world. Harimoto, on the other hand, put the upset behind him by beating ZHAO Zihao, an up-and-coming player from the People’s Republic of China, to win the ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open. Furthermore, Harimoto also suffered defeat when he played UDA Yukiya at the All Japan Table Tennis Championships. Uda and Tokokazu were once students at  the JOC Elite Academy.

Pattern and Style of Play of Tomokazu

With the guidance of his father, who had been teaching him table tennis for years, he was able to thoroughly educate him on backhand shots and the fundamentals of footwork. Although Tomokazu does not have a solid build and his physical strength measurements are among the lowest among Japan’s national team members, he can hit accurate shots in a variety of positions without putting himself under a lot of pressure. He prioritized winning over having fun earlier in his local league table tennis career, and his style of play reflected that. To frustrate his rival, he will use negative tactics. It usually worked, but it was tedious. More so, he was immediately faced with the fact that he could kill two stones with a bird, which caused him to be more proactive in his playing style. Now that he has a more constructive playing style, matches are even more fun. He began practicing on his forehand, to avoid being too reliant on his backhand. Harimoto, a self-described “practice addict,” worked much harder to develop his forehands. As a result, his forehand shots, which had previously been slower and weaker than his backhands, started to increase in pace and power.

Highlights

Considering how beautifully Tomokazu Harimoto plays, let’s take a sneak peek of the highlights of his career.

Junior Career

Luckily, Harimoto won the All-Japan Table Tennis Championships Juniors title in 2010. Then he was just a first-grader. Throughout his six years elementary Tomokazu won several championships. In 2015, Tomokazu became the youngest player to represent Japan at the World Junior Table Tennis Championship. The Chapionshionship was held in France. Nevertheless, Harimoto could not participate in the tournament because of the November 2015 Paris attack incident

At 12 years, Harimoto won the 2016 U-21 Japan Open. He defeated Ho Kwan Ki to grab the title. This victory made him the youngest champion of the ITTF World Tour under-21 men’s singles. In 2015, Harimoto cliched gold medals at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships held in South Africa. In December 2016, Harimoto moved to No. 10 in the world Under-21 table tennis players.

The year 2017

Harimoto started the year at the newly revamped India Open in February. However, Harimoto made it to the finals after he won the game against Alvaro Robles. Unfortunately, he lost to Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

The year 2021

Harimoto performed at WTT Doha in March. In the WTT Contender event, he was defeated in the semi-finals by Dimitrij Ovtcharov, but he won the WTT Star Contender event.

Final Thoughts

The prodigy tennis player, whose approximate net worth is between $1 million and $5 million, continues to soar in his area of interest. Harimoto’s name has been etched in the sands of time.

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