Lee Sang-soo, Cho Dae-sung, Jang Woo-jin, Lim Jong-hoon ‘have gold in sight’… ‘tied’ for fourth place
Korean table tennis secured at least three bronze medals in doubles at the World Championships. In singles, however, the team was eliminated in the round of 16.
The men’s doubles quarterfinals at the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships continued on Friday (local time) at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa.
World No. 11 Lee Sang-soo (33)-Jo Dae-sung (21-Samsung Life Insurance), ranked seventh, defeated defending champions Christian Karlsson-Matthias Falk of Sweden 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9) to reach the quarterfinals.
The Swedes were the favorites at the 2021 World Championships in Houston, USA, where they defeated Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon to win the men’s doubles gold medal.
At the World Championships, if a team loses in the quarterfinals, there is no third or fourth place match and the losers are awarded a joint bronze medal.
After the match, Lee said, “They were the top players in Houston, so I prepared thoroughly. I didn’t think I could beat them, but it feels good to have a good result.”
Cho Dae-sung, who was paired with Ahn Jae-hyun at the World Championships two years ago but lost to the Swedish pair in the round of 16, said, “I’m happy to have avenged the loss, and I’m happy because it’s my first medal (at the World Championships).”
Earlier in the men’s doubles quarterfinals, world No. 3 Jang Woo-jin (28, Mirae Asset Securities) and Lim Jong-hoon (26, Korea Exchange) swept past 13th-ranked Eceki Nandor and Shudi Adam of Hungary 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-7) to reach the last four.
Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung will face world No. 1s Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin of China and unranked Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon of Germany against Dmitry Ovcharov and Patrik Franciska. There is also a possibility of a Korean gold medal.
Earlier in the women’s doubles quarterfinals, world No. 12 Shin Yubin (19-Korean Air) and Jeon Jeon-hee (31-Mirae Asset Securities) defeated third-ranked European champions Sofia Polkanova (Austria) and Bernadette Schötz (Romania) 3-0 (11-9, 15-13, 11-4) to reach the last four.
It has been 12 years since Korea won a medal in the women’s doubles event at the World Championships, with Kim Kyung-ah and Park Mi-young taking bronze in 2011 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee will face the world No. 1 pair of China’s Sun Yingxia and Wang Man-yu in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
In the men’s and women’s singles round of 16, the highly anticipated Shin Yubin, Lim Jong-hoon, Jang Woo-jin and Seo Hyo-won all lost.
First, world No. 26 Shin Yubin fell to No. 1 Sun Yingxia (CHN) 0-4 (6-11, 8-11, 8-11, 5-11) in the round of 16 in the women’s singles. World No. 11 Lim Jong-hoon also lost 0-4 (7-11, 5-11, 3-11, 6-11) to No. 3 Ma Rong (CHN) in the round of 16 in the men’s singles.
After the match, Shin Yubin said, “It was great to play against a world No. 1 player, but it also showed me a lot of my deficiencies. I found a lot of things I need to work on in practice. I think my control and delicacy with the ball is lacking, and I want to work on it more.”
Lim Jong-hoon said, “Definitely, in a big tournament, the Chinese players played very well and the score was not easy to close. It was a very bad match, but it means they did a good job, and I want to show my respect to them.”
“Marong was an all-around player. When we were evenly matched, he was a wall in defense, which gave me more strength, and when I had to defend because of his good offense, it put a lot of pressure on me. I want to improve my defense more like Marong.”토토사이트
Seo Hyo-won (36, Korea Horse Society), ranked 108th in the world, also lost 0-4 (5-11, 9-11, 6-11, 8-11) to 10th-ranked Hina Hayata of Japan in the round of 16 in the women’s singles. It was not enough for Seo, who reached the quarterfinals of the women’s singles at the last World Championships, the best result for the Korean team in both men’s and women’s singles.
Jang Woo-jin was also upset by 180th-ranked Anders Lind (DEN) 1-4 (7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 6-11) in the men’s singles round of 16.