• Kyodo

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Tomokazu Harimoto reached the China Open semifinals on Saturday after defeating countryman Koki Niwa in straight games in men’s singles.

The 13-year-old Harimoto will face Timo Boll of Germany in the last four.

Yuya Oshima and Masaki Yoshida were eliminated in the quarterfinals in Chengdu, China.

The tournament has been marred by an apparent protest by Chinese players in head coach Liu Goliang’s reappointment.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation website, Liu was promoted to vice president of the China Table Tennis Association on Tuesday.

On Friday evening, the world’s top three players, No. 1 Ma Long, No. 2 Fan Zhendong and No. 3 Xu Xin, failed to show up for their second-round men’s singles matches.

In women’s singles, Miu Hirano lost 4-1 against world No. 1 Ding Ning in the round of 16, while Kasumi Ishikawa was also defeated 4-1 by second-ranked Chinese Liu Shiwen in the quarterfinals.

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