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Sports and Japan

Mid-teen Harimoto Trounced Mizutani in a Miraculous Upset

By June 8, 2017 at 12:45 am
table tennis

Trust me, this is the biggest upset that'll go down forever in the history of Japan's table tennis. A 13-year-old prodigy from Sendai downed the top Japanese table tennis player Jun Mizutani 4-1 in the second round of the ongoing World Cup Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Harimoto had made his mind up prior to the game, he said, to mentally outplay Mizutani though his "chances were 1 to 5%". He told the reporter covering him after the game that his "willpower to win was way up 100%".

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That willpower of his exploded at the third game. Trailing 0-2 behind Harimoto whom he had personally coached short of two years before, Mizutani switched to the offensive but Harimoto managed to slam his way into a deuce. The drama awaited at 13-12 when Harimoto dared take a time out to organize his strategy.

There is a stroke in table tennis known as "Chiquita" after a certain species of banana. Harimoto told himself that stroke would be the only means of grabbing a point against Mizutani serving at 13-12.

Harimoto took the third game, dropped the fourth, and pulled through the match 4-1. It was a miraculous win for the 13-years-old.

After the match, Mizutani commended Harimoto's accomplished skills, adding:

"He displayed a high level of play throughout the match. He was really tough to beat today and I couldn't bounce back.

"He beat me, so he has a good chance of beating anybody else on his way to the medal - I do hope he will go after the medal."

Harimoto recalled:

"Mizutani-san was awfully scary as he was chasing after me. I  told myself never to give up winning the match - ....so as not to regret having ever played that game."
Yes, that was a miraculous upset ever, trust me. (Nathan Shiga) 

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