It was the younger generation that shone through as the year came to an end; Kanak Jha of the United States and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, alongside the Japanese duo of Mima Ito and Tomokazu Harimoto, gave performances that were thrilling and mesmerizing.
Holders of both junior and senior titles
Earlier in the year both Kanak Jha and Adriana Diaz had won the respective Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles titles at the Pan American Junior Championships staged in the Dominican Republic. In November, at the senior version of the tournament in the Chilean capital city of Santiago, they added the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles.
Liking for Sweden
In April and May at the Liebherr World Team Championships in Halmstad, Mima Ito had remained unbeaten throughout; notably in the final against China she accounted for Liu Shiwen. In early November in Stockholm on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour, she once again displayed her liking for Sweden and her penchant for Chinese adversaries. One after another she beat Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling to claim the Women’s Singles title.
Most incredible Grand Finals ever
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano caused a sensation by recording a Men’s Singles quarter-final success against China’s Fan Zhendong, the world no.1 but in the next round he was beaten by Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. The 15 year old progressed to win the title at the hands of Lin Gaoyuan, also from China and thus set quite unprecedented records for teenage champions.
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