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Tomokazu Harimoto, Mima Ito clinch first titles of season

Kyodo

Tomokazu Harimoto and Mima Ito each claimed their first titles of the ITTF World Tour season at the Hungarian Open in Budapest on Sunday.

Harimoto, the world No. 5, defeated Yukiya Uda 4-1 in an all-Japanese men’s singles final at Budapest Olympic Hall after the pair dispatched Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and England’s Liam Pitchford, respectively, in the semifinals.

“I’m really happy to have won my first championship of 2020,” the 16-year-old said. “With the confidence from this victory, I want to practice and do my best to be able to win more international competitions in the future.”

In the women’s singles, Ito, ranked third in the race to the Tokyo Olympics, persevered for a 4-3 victory over Taiwan’s Cheng I-ching, who had scraped past Japan national team stalwart Kasumi Ishikawa in the semifinals.

Chinese players did not take part in the tournament due to health concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

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