• Kyodo


Teenager Tomokazu Harimoto failed to reach the main draw of the Japan Open after losing in the third round of men’s singles qualifiers on Thursday.

The 13-year-old, who became the youngest player to reach the last eight of the world championships earlier this month, lost 4-1 to China’s Liang Jingkun at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

“Two or three years ago, crying after a loss to a Chinese player would not have entered my mind,” said Harimoto, last year’s champion here in the under-21 division. “I had a chance to win this.”

But Maharu Yoshimura, a world mixed doubles gold medalist and men’s doubles bronze medalist, advanced to the main singles draw starting on Friday after defeating Canada’s Eugene Wang 4-2.

In the men’s doubles, Yoshimura and Koki Niwa reached the second round, while partners Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono also advanced.

Harimoto crashed out in doubles, however. He and partner Yuto Kizukuri lost 3-0 to Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting.

The world women’s doubles bronze medalists, 16-year-olds Mima Ito and Hina Hayata, withdrew from their first-round match, with Hayata feeling pain in her right knee. Kasumi Ishikawa and Yui Hamamoto also failed to advance, losing in straight games to Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs.

Meanwhile, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato defeated Choi Hyo-joo and Jung Yu-mi of South Korea 3-1.

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