Starting where they left off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong
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Starting where they left off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong

Starting where they left off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong

Starting where they left off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong

Starting where they left off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong
by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto ended the year as player listed in top spot on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings and on the counterpart Under 15 order of merit.

Only 13 years old, one wonders what riches lay in store for the teenager, who by virtue of his age, starts 2017 in exactly the same position in each listing.

The first day of January each year is when the new age groups into effect; the fact that a 13 year old, a player with two further years in the cadet age group category is also the top of the junior list is unprecedented.

However, he is not the only player to end the year in pole position and start the new in the same position but he is the only player to command the distinction in two age groups.

Fan Zhendong continues to head the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings; he celebrates his 20th birthday on Sunday 22nd January and thus including 2017, he has two more years in the age group. No doubt when we celebrate New Year in 2018, it will be the same scenario!

No change amongst the aspiring young men; for the young ladies it is slightly different.

Japan’s Mima Ito remains in top place on the Under 18 Girls’ World Ranking, the 16 year old ended the year in first place; she starts the New Year in the same vein.

Also, she starts 2017 at the top of the Under 21 Women’s World Rankings, having ended 2016 in second place; the reason being that Zhu Yuling, whose 22nd birthday is on Tuesday 10th January, departs the Under 21 Women’s World Rankings.

Including the end of year listings, overall Zhu Yuling occupied top spot on the Under 21 Women’s World Rankings on 39 occasions when the monthly listing was announced; the unbroken run of 29 publications, which ended on Saturday 31st December, commenced on Monday 1st September 2014.

Meanwhile, on the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings, Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki is once again the player at the top of the list; it is the same position that she held on Thursday 1st December 2016 but not at the end of month.

Shi Yunyao, listed at no.7 at the start of the month, ended the year in top place; the reward for winning the Girls’ Singles title at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships.

Saturday 31st December: End of Year World Rankings

World Rankings: Tuesday 3rd January 2017

World Rankings: Basic Description

World Rankings: Rating Points and Bonus Points Tables

World Rankings: Ranking Default Policy for No Show

World Rankings: Policy for Inclusion in 2017 ITTF Calendar

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