The 2023 edition of the All Japan Table Tennis Championships brought another surprise in the singles event.
While in the international arena, the main Japanese hope is Tomokazu Harimoto, the internal competition has once again proved that Shunsuke Togami is ready to write his name among the greats of Japanese table tennis. Same as the year earlier, Togami managed to win the singles event. Last year, he overcame Kenta Matsuidara in the final 4-2. This year, the final’s result against Harimoto was the same.
Togami’s success will only strengthen his position in the Japanese national team before the upcoming World Championships in Durban. He has previously expressed a high motivation to earn his spot for the 2024 Olympic Games, and all the recent success only increases Togami’s chances to play in Paris alongside Harimoto.
As long as Harimoto continues to be among the leading players in the world, he remains pretty much untouchable in the Japanese team. A tougher internal competition can be seen as a positive thing. The recent Team World Championships showed that Harimoto is capable of winning against any opponent, but to win the gold medals, he needs help. Despite losing the singles final, Harimoto managed to earn two gold medals in this tournament, winning doubles and mixed doubles events.
This tournament proved to be a successful run for the 15-year-old talent Sora Matsushima, who reached the doubles final together with Mizuki Oikawa. Also worth mentioning is the bronze medal for Hiroto Shinozuka, who has been successful in the WTT tournaments during 2022 and is also slowly climbing up in the ranks of the Japanese team.
2023 ALL JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS
Tomokazu Harimoto/Masataka Morizono
Mizuki Oikawa/Sora Matsushima
Kohei Sambe/Ryuzaki Tonin
Tazoe Kenta/Yuya Oshima
Tomokazu Harimoto/Nina Hayata
Yuta Tanaka/Chiaki Tanaka
Shodai Sakane/Maki Shiomi
Norihiro Ito/Natsuko Hagii
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