Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, 15 years and 172 days old, today became the youngest singles winner - male or female - of the International Table Tennis Federation’s World Tour Grand Finals, requiring just five games to beat China’s Lin Gaoyuan in Incheon.
The previous youngest player to win the men’s title was China’s 19-year-old Wang Hao in 2003 - he turned 20 the day after - and the youngest winner of the women’s singles in this competition was China’s Guo Yue, 16 years and 148 days old when she triumphed in 2004.
Harimoto came through 11-4, 13-15, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 at the Namdong Gymnasium in the South Korean city.
The two players had faced each other on only one previous occasion, with Lin winning 4-1 at this year’s China Open in the round of 16.
China’s Chen Meng retained her women’s singles title with victory over compatriot and 12th seed He Zhuojia.
Chen won 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 against a player who had disposed of China’s Rio 2016 champion Ding Ning in the semi-finals.
It is the 20th time since the tournament was first staged in 1996 that a player representing China has secured the women’s singles title.
Japan added to their gold medal collection as Hina Hayata and Mima Ito won the women’;s doubles title with an 11-9, 13-11, 12-10 win over China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.
South Korea’s Jang Woojin, who the previous day had lost in the mixed doubles final partnering North Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim, earned gold in the men’s doubles partnering compatriot Lim Jonghoon as they beaat Hong Kong’s Ho Kwa Kit and Wong Chun Ting 10-12, 13-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8.