ITO AND HARIMOTO LEAD JAPANESE DOMINANCE AT WTT STAR CONTENDER BANGKOK 2024

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Bangkok, Thailand, 7 July 2024 – WTT Star Contender Bangkok 2024 has wrapped up in sensational fashion. With USD 250,000 at stake, the event delivered dramatic battles in the heart of the land of smiles. 

In the Women’s Singles final, Mima Ito (JPN) triumphed over Honoka Hashimoto (JPN) in a gripping six-game battle, winning 4-2 (11:6, 12:14, 4:11, 11:5, 11:8, 11:5). Ito, competing in her first singles final since WTT Star Contender Ljubljana 2023, showcased her championship pedigree to secure her fifth WTT Series title. Hashimoto, who began her journey in the qualifying rounds, put up a valiant effort in her first-ever WTT Series final, making a memorable debut at her first WTT Star Contender event.

“Facing Hashimoto is always a close match, just like the ones we had in Japan. We’ve had many matches where no one could predict the winner until the very last moment. Given the fierce competition and today’s hot weather, we couldn’t stop sweating and had to take a lot of pauses during the match for this reason. I’m glad I was able to compete calmly in such conditions.” – Mima Ito

In the Men’s Singles final, Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) delivered a dominant performance against defending champion Lin Gaoyuan (CHN), winning 4-0 (11:3, 11:8, 11:6, 11:9). Lin, the top seed and wildcard, entered the final as the defending champion from last year’s WTT Star Contender Bangkok, having equaled his best effort of the season from WTT Star Contender Doha 2024. Harimoto, who already boasts a WTT Star Contender title from Doha 2021, secured his second consecutive triple crown following his historic win at WTT Contender Tunis last week.

“It’s incredible to have won the final 4-0 today. I gave everything in both the semifinals and the final, yet I still feel energized. This event has significantly boosted my confidence in my physical strength. Following last week’s victories in Tunis, securing a triple crown for the second consecutive week and winning six titles in two weeks is beyond anything I imagined. When I left Japan, I hoped for one or two titles. Achieving this is simply unbelievable, and I’m absolutely thrilled.”  – Tomokazu Harimoto

In Mixed Doubles, Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata (JPN) dominated Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) with a 3:1 victory (11:3, 11:8, 9:11,11:8). This triumph marked their fourth Mixed Doubles title in 2024, continuing their incredible form following victories at WTT Contender Tunis and WTT Star Contender Ljubljana.

“I just turned 24 today, and I believe this is the best birthday present I could ask for. Going into this event, even losing one match would prevent us from securing the No. 2 seed at the Olympics. I’m really happy that we’ve worked so hard. I might have given Harimoto a lot of inconvenience, and it may likely be the same in Paris, but I hope we can unite our strengths and fight hard together.” – Hina Hayata

Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato (JPN) claimed the Women’s Doubles title by defeating top seeds Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin (KOR)3:1 (9:11, 11:7, 11:8, 13:11). Hashimoto and Sato, unbeaten in WTT events this year, secured their second WTT Series Women’s Doubles title, having previously won at WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro and WTT Feeder Cappadocia.

“The two Korean players are very strong and form a formidable pair. We carefully planned our strategy before the match and executed it without hesitation, which I believe contributed to our victory.” – Honoka Hashimoto

“Our tactics are to attack proactively when we have the serve, and defend solidly while seizing opportunities to attack during rallies when the opponent keeps the exchanges going.” – Hitomi Sato

Tomokazu Harimoto and Sora Matsushima (JPN) clinched the Men’s Doubles title, their second in just six days, by overcoming Chuang Chih-Yuan and Kao Cheng-Jui (TPE)3:2 (6:11, 11:6, 7:11, 11:4, 11:8). This victory, following their recent triumph at WTT Contender Tunis 2024, further cemented their dominance in the doubles category.

“In this tournament, I considered the match against Cho Daeseong/Jang Woojin to be our biggest hurdle, and we won that. Our performance in the finals was a result of the discussions we had. It’s great to have this win.” – Sora Matsushima

Bangkok, hosting the fourth of five WTT Star Contender events in 2024 after Doha, Goa, and Ljubljana, will pass the baton to Lanzhou from 16-22 September.

Following Paris 2024 Olympics, fans can look forward to WTT Contender events in Lima (August) and Almaty (September), and the highly anticipated WTT Champions Macao from 9-15 September, leading up to the third WTT Grand Smash of the year, the inaugural China Smash 2024 in Beijing.

WTT Champions Montpellier and WTT Champions Frankfurt follow suit in October and November, as players get in a fierce race to qualify for the season-ending WTT Finals Fukuoka 2024, where the top 16 singles players and top 8 doubles pairs will compete for glory.

For the latest news on WTT events near you, visit worldtabletennis.com.

Credit: WTT Press

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