Japan's 14-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto pulled off the result of his fledgling career on the home ground of Yokohama today as he defeated China's world number one Fan Zhendong in the group stages of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Asian Cup.
The teenager delighted the home audience as he won 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 against the man who had reached the top of the ITTF tree for the first time in his career at the start of this month.
Fan, 21, won his opening game 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 against Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan at the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.
But after this shock defeat he now needs to win his final group match against Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko - beaten 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 by Harimoto in their opening game - to secure one of the two qualifying places for the quarter-finals.
Fan's Chinese team-mate Lin Gaoyuan also suffered a defeat, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 by South Korea's Lee Sangsu, having earlier beaten Chinese Taipei's Chen Chien-An 11-8, 11-3, 11-6.
In his opening contest, Lee Sangsu had accounted for Hong Kong's Jian Tianyi 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7.
Hong Kong's Wong Chun Ting won both his opening matches.
While China's men struggled, China's women proceeded smoothly through the opening day.
Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling won both their opening matches, as did home player Kasumi Ishikawa.
Zhu, however, had to come from two games down to defeat Hong Kong's Doo Hoi Kem, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9, prior to overcoming Japan's Miu Hirano 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.