The Korean men’s and women’s table tennis teams performed well in doubles, securing three bronze medals, but were wiped out in the round of 16 in singles. With the Hangzhou Asian Games just two weeks away, the red light is on for performance management.
In the men’s and women’s doubles events at the Pyeongchang Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023 at the Pyeongchang Dome in Gangwon Province on Monday, the world No. 1 pair of Jeon Jeon-hee (31, Mirae Asset Securities) and Shin Yoo-bin (19, Korean Air), the world No. 1 pair of Jang Woo-jin (27) and Lim Jong-hoon (26, Korea Exchange) and the world No. 1 pair of Ahn Jae-hyun (23, Korea Exchange) and Park Kang-hyun (27, Korea Water Resources Corporation) reached the semifinals side by side to secure three bronze medals.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yubin rallied from 3-0 down (11-9, 16-14, 11-5) to defeat the 17th-ranked pair of Chun Zhiyou and Huang Yi-hua of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals on Tuesday, they will face “Chinese Aces” Sun Yingxia (World No. 1)-Wang Yidi (World No. 3) in an attempt to win their second straight title. The men’s doubles pair of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon struggled against the “Iranian Brothers” Nima Alamian and Nosheed Alamian (ranked 24th – Iran) in the quarterfinals. After dropping the first two games, they rallied to take the third game to secure a 3-2 (10-12, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4) victory and a spot in the quarterfinals. Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun defeated Japan’s Hiroto Shinozuka and Yuta Tanaka 3-1 (11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-8) to advance to the quarterfinals. They will meet the Chinese pair in the quarterfinals on Monday. Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon will play Marung-Wang Chuchin and Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun will face Fan Zhen-dong and Ling Gaoyuan.
South Korea secured three bronze medals in the doubles with Kang Seong-mok, but fared worst in the singles. None of the 10 women’s players reached the quarterfinals. First, “youngest ace” Shin Yubin (World No. 9) lost to Thailand’s Orawan Paranang (World No. 92) in straight sets (9-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-3, 9-11). It was an upset at home against Paranang, who had won four of their previous five meetings on the international stage. Jeon Jeon-hee (ranked 33rd in the world) was defeated 0-3 (8-11, 5-11, 4-11) by Japan’s Mima Ito (ranked 8th in the world). 바카라
The men’s singles didn’t fare as well. Ahn Jae-hyun (World No. 40) lost 0-3 (3-11, 7-11, 6-11) to Liang Jing-kun (World No. 6) of China, while top-ranked Jang Woo-jin (World No. 9) took the first two games against Hong Kong veteran Wong Chun-ting (World No. 50) before dropping the third game to lose 2-3 (11-9, 19-17, 2-11, 9-11, 10-12). In the last 16, all the expectations and support of the Anbang fans were focused on left-handed ace Lim Jong-hoon (World No. 17), but he lost helplessly in the Korea-Japan match. He was overpowered by ‘Japanese God’ Yuta Tanaka (World No. 73), who defeated top Chinese player Wang Chuqin. With the 1-3 (10-12, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11) loss, the Korean men’s and women’s singles schedule came to an early end. No Korean players will be seen in singles competition on Sept. 9-10. It was especially painful to see the top women’s player Shin Yoo-bin, the top men’s player Jang Woo-jin, and the left-handed ace Lim Jong-hoon, who had recently shown signs of resurgence, crash out in the round of 16 at the Anbang Asian Championships, which was broadcast live. From morning to night, the Pyeongchang Dome was filled with chants of “Cha-yo! Cha-yo!” cheers rang out from morning to night, and the stadium was covered with waves of placards supporting the Chinese players. It was China’s home turf.
Speaking to the media after the match, men’s national team head coach Zhu Se-hyuk expressed his disappointment at being eliminated in the round of 16. “After the Durban World Championships, the players were tired of competing in WTT events to secure their rankings,” he said, “but it’s not just us, it’s every other country. There is no excuse for a player to play in front of their home country. I, the coach, and my players don’t deserve the kind of table tennis we played today. I need to reflect. I apologize to the table tennis fans who came and supported us,” he said. “There are a lot of bubbles in the world rankings. If you are top 10 in the world, you should play like that. We shouldn’t be satisfied with winning a small tournament where there are no big names or strong players. We have to take our position soberly and work harder,” he said.
“We will try to make up for our singles loss at the Hangzhou Asian Games in two weeks’ time. Tomorrow’s doubles quarterfinal against China will also be tough. But even if we lose, we have to lose well. We can’t show lethargy. I will do my best to convince myself in front of my home fans.”