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Tomokazu Harimoto is a Japanese table tennis player. In 2018, He won the 2018 World Junior Singles and Team Title at the ITTF 2018 World Junior Championship for Japan. The previous players to win the title were Kenta Matsudaira, Koki Niwa, and Jun Mizutani (Teams). In August 2017, he became the youngest ever winner of an ITTF World Tour men's singles title, winning the Czech Open title at the age of 14 years and 61 days. In December 2018, he became the youngest player to win the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals at the age of 15 years and 172 days. Personal life Harimoto was born as Zhang Zhihe in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. His father Zhang Yu and mother Zhang Ling are both former professional table tennis players from Sichuan province, China. Zhang Ling, at the peak of her career, represented China at the 43rd World Table Tennis Championships in Tianjin. Harimoto began playing table tennis at the age of two. He became a naturalized citizen of Japan in 2014 and legally changed his surname to Harimoto. After graduating from East Miyagi Elementary School in 2016, he relocated to Tokyo to join the JOC Elite Academy. His pastimes include baseball and reading. Career Junior career Harimoto first won the All- Japan Table Tennis Championships Juniors title in 2010 as a first grader. He would continue to win the tournament for all 6 years of his elementary school years. In 2015, he was chosen to represent Japan at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in France, becoming the youngest Japanese player to be chosen. However, due to the November 2015 Paris attacks, Harimoto was not able to participate in the tournament. Aged 12 years and 355 days, Harimoto defeated seasoned professionals Ho Kwan Kit, Hugo Calderano, and teammate Kohei Sambe to win the 2016 U-21 Japan Open title. With the win, he became the youngest winner ITTF World Tour under- 21 men's singles title. Later that year, Harimoto won gold medals in the boys' singles and teams events at the World Junior Table.


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