Seasoned Dimitrij Ovtcharov ends young Harimoto’s dream run
Tomokazu Harimoto, only 13, lost to Dimitrij Ovtcharov 4-0 in the final of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour.other sports Updated: Feb 19, 2017 23:49 IST
It seemed a mismatch on paper --- Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov is 28 while Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan is just 13. Perhaps, it was the novelty that kept spectators rooted to their seats at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium, venue of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour.
The 4-0 score line in the final on Sunday didn’t reveal that the German had to sweat it out.
Ovtcharov raced to a lead, winning the first two games but found the going tough as the match progressed. Despite variation in serve, he found it difficult to collect points as Harimoto made a comeback.
After pocketing three games, if Ovtcharov thought it would be easy, he was mistaken as Harimoto didn’t give up. In fact, at one point he led 5-4 and made it 10-all. Ovtcharov had to dig deep to score a point and wrap up the contest.
In the women’s final, Matilda Ekholm of Sweden had a good start but wasn’t able complete the job, and was outplayed by Japan’s Sakura Mori despite winning the opening game.
Final (Men): Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Ger) bt Tomokazu Harimoto (Jpn) 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 14-12; Women: Sakura Mori (Jpn) bt Matilda Ekholm (Swe) 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6.