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Miwa Harimoto concludes European visit on high note

Monday 24 February

2020 ITTF World Junior Circuit

Czech Junior & Cadet Open, Hodonin: Wednesday 12th – Sunday 16th February

Swedish Junior & Cadet Open, Örebro: Wednesday 19th – Sunday 23rd February

 

Miwa Harimoto concludes European visit on high note

 

Japan’s 11 year old Miwa Harimoto concluded her European travels with success in the cadet girls’ singles event on Sunday 23rd February at the 2020 Swedish Junior and Cadet Open in Örebro, the tournament being part of the Safir International.

 

In the final, she beat Anna Hursey of Wales (11-13, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2, 11-4) and in so doing matched the efforts of elder brother, 16 year old Tomokazu, who was progressing to win the men’s singles title at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, some 1,150 miles further south in Budapest.

 

Thus they became the first brother and sister pair to win an ITTF World Tour title and an ITTF World Junior Circuit gold medal ever; not just on the same day.

 

 

Quite incredibly in Örebro, Miwa Harimoto lost just two matches. At the semi-final stage of the junior girls’ singles event she was beaten by Prithika Pavade of France (13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9) before later in the tournament extracting revenge.

 

She accounted for her French adversary in the penultimate round in the elite women’s singles event (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6), before in the final losing to Saki Goto, a Japanese student living in Sweden (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6). Significantly, she emulated Tomokazu, in 2015 when also 11 years old, he had been the runner up in the men’s elite class!

 

Success against Prithika Pavade, it was the same on the penultimate of play, they met in the under 21 women’s singles final, Miwa Harimoto saved one match point before emerging successful (4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10).

 

Notably, earlier Miwa Harimoto had partnered Sachi Aoki to junior girls’ doubles gold, the pair beating Russia’s Liubov Tentser and Vlada Voronina in the final (11-7, 11-5, 14-16, 11-8).

 

A title for Sachi Aoki, just as Miwa Harimoto was securing the under 21 women’s singles top prize, Sachi Aoki won the mini-cadet girls’ singles title. She overcame Russia’s Iulia Pugovkina in the final (11-3, 11-5, 11-6).

 

Most worthy performances form Miwa Harimoto; in Örebro, it was the same in the cadet boys’ singles event from Singapore’s Izaac Quek Young. In the final he beat Canada’s Simeon Martin to secure the top prize (11-8, 11-9, 11-8).

 

Outstanding in Örebro, Miwa Harimoto had been sensational the previous week in Hodonin at the Czech Junior and Cadet Open; she lost just one match, that being at the quarter-final stage of the junior girls’ doubles when partnering Sachi Aoki; the duo experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Russia’ Anastasiia Beresneva and Vasilisa Danilova (11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9).

 

 

Otherwise the record was unblemished. She beat Russia’s Arina Slautina to win the junior girls’ singles title (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7); later she overcame Charlotte Lutz of France to secure cadet girls’ singles gold (11-8, 11-7, 11-5). In addition, as in Örebro she joined forces with Sachi Aoki to win cadet girls’ doubles gold; in the final the duo overcame Liao Ting-Yao and colleague Lin Chien-Ying (13-11, 12-10, 11-4).

 

Success in the cadet girls’ singles final came soon after she had partnered Sachi Aoki to cadet girls’ doubles gold; in the final the duo overcame Liao Ting-Yao and colleague Lin Chien-Ying (13-11, 12-10, 11-4).

 

Meanwhile, in the junior girls’ team event alongside Sach Aoki and Norway’s Martine Toftaker, it had been a 3-2 team semi-final defeat against Russia, a contest in which Miwa Harimoto had secured the two wins. She beat both Vlada Voronina (9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8) and Arina Slautina (11-8, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7).

 

Also, in Hodonin there was success for Chinese Taipei. Chang Yu-An won the cadet boys’ singles title; in the final he beat Poland’s Mateusz Zalewski (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10).

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