Harimoto at the 2017 German Open
|Born||27 June 2003|
|Playing style||Right-handed, shakehand grip|
|Equipment(s)||Tomokazu Harimoto ALC, Tenergy 05 (Forehand) Tenergy 05 (Backhand)|
|Highest ranking||3 (January 2019)|
|Current ranking||4 (March 2019)|
|Height||5’8” ( 1,73m )|
|Weight||140 lb (64 kg)|
Tomokazu Harimoto (Japanese: 張本 智和; born 27 June 2003) is a Japanese table tennis player. 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.
Harimoto was born as Zhang Zhihe (張 智和) in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. His parents Yu and Lin are both former professional table tennis players from Sichuan province. Lin, 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.
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-21Japan 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 even at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Cape Town, South Africa. This win was historic, as Harimoto became the youngest winner of the World Junior Championships aged 13 years and 163 days. Harimoto achieved an Under-21 ranking of No. 10 in the world in December 2016.
Harimoto began the year in February at the recently revamped India Open. He reached the finals with victories over Álvaro Robles, Sakai Asuka, Robert Gardos, and local favorite Sharath Kamal, before losing to defending champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov in straight sets.
- June 2016: Youngest ever winner of an ITTF World Tour under-21 men's singles title (12 years, 355 days).
- December 2016: Youngest ever winner of the boys' singles title at the World Junior Championships (13 years, 163 days).
- August 2017: Youngest ever winner of an ITTF World Tour men's singles title (14 years, 61 days).
- January 2018: Youngest ever winner of the men's singles title at the Japanese National Championships (14 years, 207 days).
- December 2018: Youngest ever winner of an ITTF World Tour Grand Finals men's singles title (15 years, 172 days).
ITTF Major tournament performance timeline
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (S) Singles Tournament; (D) Doubles Tournament; (MD) Mixed Doubles Tournament; (T) Team Tournament.
|World Tour Grand Finals||S||QF||W|
Senior career highlights, as of April 2018:
ITTF Career Singles Finals: 3
|Runner-Up||February, 2017||2017 ITTF World Tour India Open||World Tour||Dimitrij Ovtcharov||6-11, 8-11, 4-11, 12-14|
|Win||August, 2017||Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Czech Open||World Tour||Timo Boll||11-3, 4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9|
|Win||June, 2018||Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Lion Japan Open||World Tour||Zhang Jike||9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11|
ITTF Career Doubles Finals: 2
|Runner-up||June, 2017||2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open||World Tour||Yuto Kizukuri||JIn Ueda||10-12, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11|
|Runner-up||November, 2017||2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open||World Tour Platinum||Yuto Kizukuri||Jung Young-sik||11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 14-16, 6-11|
- World Championships: QF (2017)
- ITTF World Tour Grand Finals: QF (2017), Winner (2018)
- ITTF World Tour:
- Asian Championships: Last 32 (2017)
- ITTF World Tour Grand Finals: QF (2017)
- ITTF World Tour:
Record against top-10 players
Harimoto's singles match record against those who have been ranked in the top 10, with those who have been No. 1 in bold:
Statistics correct as of 7 May 2018[update]. * indicates current world rank no. 1.
- "Tomokazu Harimoto: 12-Year-Old Shakes Up The World". Butterfly Online. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "ITTF Player Profile / Tomokazu Harimoto". ITTF. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
- "Record breaker, Tomokazu Harimoto, youngest .He also won ITTF World Tour men's single title , winning the Japan Open title at the age of 15 .ever". ITTF. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Amazing form maintained, Tomokazu Harimoto wins in Incheon". International Table Tennis Federation. 16 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- 人民網日本語版. "日本の「希望の星」、弱冠13歳で世界選手権ベスト8に入った張本智和とは？―中国紙". Record China (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "【卓球】期待の星・張本智和、金のシナリオ！エリートアカデミーで技磨く : スポーツ報知". Archived from the original on 15 November 2016.
- "始動：２０２０を目指して／１ 卓球 東京の頂、新世代の決意 - 毎日新聞". 毎日新聞 (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Boys' Singles success means Tomokazu Harimoto youngest ever champion". ITTF. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "14-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto becomes youngest national table tennis singles champion". Japan Times. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Amazing form maintained, Tomokazu Harimoto wins in Incheon". ITTF. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
- "ITTF Player Matches / Tomokazu Harimoto". ITTF. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Tomokazu Harimoto chosen as ITTF's Breakthrough Star award recipient". Japan Times. Retrieved 10 April 2018.