It got so bad that the Japan Table Tennis Association essentially told him to shut up during games.

Sportsmanship can mean the difference between winning gracefully and disrespectfully rubbing salt on your opponent’s wounds. In the world of table tennis, players have been slapped with hefty fines for losing a moment of self-control.

And when Japanese table tennis star Tomokazu Harimoto plays, not everyone in the audience is appreciative of his conduct. The 14-year-old boy is the youngest player ever to clinch the Men’s Singles title at the Japanese National Championships, an impressive feat that few will ever replicate for years to come.

A bright future lays ahead of this young talented player, but viewers of his games quickly learn that he has a somewhat peculiar characteristic.

▼ Tomokazu celebrates each point as if he won the Olympics.

Short cries of jubilation after scoring points in table tennis are usually tolerated, as players often use them as means of celebration, or to a lesser extent, intimidating opponents.

While Tomokazu might truly be celebrating each rally as a hard-earned, well-deserved victory, his behavior on court more often than not irked those he has crossed paths with.

His conduct has drawn the attention of Yoshihito Miyazaki, the head of development of the Japan Table Tennis Association, who personally chastised Tomokazu that cheers of inspiration are encouraged so long as they are brief.

▼ So respect the competition and be careful with that fist pumping.

Reactions from Japanese netizens were mixed:

“I don’t feel like cheering for this kid.”
“I’m not bothered by his voice. I just wish he’d stop with all that fist pumps.”
“Why are you guys paying so much attention to his shouting? Shouldn’t you be watching how he plays?
“Why do table tennis players all scream like that?”
“He’s just happy, so what’s up with all the hate? I feel sorry for him.”

In Tomokazu’s defense, the champion table tennis player is still just a young boy. Even at my own age of 36, I sometimes have difficulty understanding the do’s and don’ts of our convoluted world. The take-home message for Tomokazu is that, unless it’s an incredibly long table tennis rally, it’s best to mute cheers to a more acceptable level.

Source: Yahoo! Japan via Hachima Kikou
Top image: YouTube/Tokyo TV Table Tennis Channel
Insert image: Pakutaso