South Korea’s table tennis revival is back, with the country’s best result in 20 years at the World Championships. The combined performance of the men’s and women’s doubles was crucial.
The Korean national table tennis team won two silver and one bronze medal in the men’s and women’s doubles at the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Individual World Championships at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in South Africa on Monday. It is the first time in 20 years that Korea has won more than three medals at a World Championships since Paris 2003.
While the world’s third-ranked pairing of Jang Woo-jin (28, Mirae Asset Securities) and Lim Jong-hoon (26, Korea Exchange) battled hard but couldn’t break through the Great Wall and settled for their second consecutive silver, it was significant that the other doubles pairing of Shin Yoo-bin (19, Korean Air) and Jeon Jeon-hee (31, Mirae Asset Securities) caused a stir by upsetting the world’s No. 1 team from China.
The Korean table tennis team poses for a group photo after the awards ceremony. /Photo=International Table Tennis Federation Official Facebook
Shin Yoo-bin’s meteoric rise and her incredible partnership with Jeon Jeon-hee
Shin Yoo-bin and Jeon Jeon-hee are the first South Korean women’s doubles team to reach the final of a tournament in 36 years, since Yang Young-ja and Hyun Jung-hwa at the 1987 New Delhi Games. They brought a medal to women’s table tennis for the first time in 12 years by knocking out European powerhouse Polkanova-Schutz in the quarterfinals on Sept. 26, and the day before, they swept aside world No. 1s Sun Yat-Sen and Yang Man-yu 3-0.
But the combination of Chen Meng (world No. 4) and Wei Di (world No. 2), the top-ranked women’s singles pair at the Tokyo 2020 Games, proved too strong. They lost 0-3 (8-11, 6-11, 10-12).
They seemed to come out well-prepared for another Chinese team’s blowout the day before. They were tied at 3-3 in game 1, but then dropped six consecutive points to lose 8-11. They took a 6-3 lead in game two but were unable to stop a furious comeback, and in game three, they came back from a 7-4 lead to tie the game at 10-10 deuce before finally putting their heads down.
Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee were undaunted and beaming throughout the awards ceremony, perhaps because they had already achieved their goal.
Shin Yubin, who was nicknamed “Piyak-i” at the Tokyo Olympics for her confident yet cute appearance and cheerfulness, has seen a meteoric rise since then, and her chemistry with Jeon Ji-hee, who has become the team’s ace after naturalizing in South Korea, shone through.
South Korea’s table tennis mainstay overcomes injury, hopes grow for Paris Games
Shin Yubin had a tough rehabilitation early last year when she had surgery to put pins in her wrist bones, followed by surgery to remove bone chips in September, but she made a full comeback with weight training. Jeon also shook off a knee injury that plagued her for much of last year and showed how she has grown alongside her younger teammate. Despite the injury bug, there is plenty to look forward to in Paris next year.
While the Olympics will feature five events – men’s and women’s singles, mixed doubles, and the men’s and women’s team events – with no men’s and women’s doubles, doubles will still play an important role in the team competition and will be played as the first event.토토사이트
The men’s doubles team’s performance has raised expectations. Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon lost 0-3 (11-13, 6-11, 5-11) to the world No. 1 pair of Pan Jeon-dong and Wang Chung-hwa to take the silver medal. This is the second consecutive runner-up finish for the pair, who lost the title to the Swedes in Houston in 2021.
This in itself is a remarkable achievement. It’s also the first time a South Korean player has reached the final of this event twice in a row. It wasn’t easy to overcome the Chinese team, which had the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players. They led 7-3 in the first game but lost the deuce.
Lee Sang-soo (33)-Jo Dae-sung (21-Sangsung Life Insurance) also won a bronze medal after losing to Pan Jeon-dong and Wang Chu-chung in the semifinals, giving South Korea a satisfying three medals in doubles.