Korean table tennis’ best result in 20 years… a springboard to revival, but fasting is homework

South Korea’s table tennis team won three medals at the World Championships for the first time in 20 years since 1993 (gold, bronze and silver), marking the start of a revival.

Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin won silver in the women’s doubles final for the first time in 36 years, replacing Han, who was forced to withdraw two years ago after not playing a single game due to injury. Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon became the first Korean pair to win back-to-back men’s doubles silver medals, while Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung took bronze over the defending champions.

Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin lost 0-3 (8-11 7-11 10-12) to China’s Chen Meng-Wang Yidi in the women’s doubles final of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships 2023 at the Durban International Convention Centre (DICC) in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday (local time).

Having reached the final the previous day with a 3-0 win over world number one pair Sun Yingxia and Wang Manyu (CHN), Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yubin were close in every game today but came up short. After conceding seven consecutive points at 3-3 in the first game, they showed the grit to fight back with five consecutive points, but were unable to overcome the deficit. In game two, she led 6-3 before giving up another seven consecutive points.

Trailing 3-4 in the third game, Shin Yubin scored a point and her opponent’s unforced errors brought the score to 7-4. However, Jeon Jeon-hee’s attack failed and Chen Meng’s attack hit the head of the table to level the score at 7-7.

With the score tied at 9-9, Wang Yidi reached game point when Shin Yubin flicked a ball over the net and Wang sent it away. However, Jeon Jeon-hee’s attack went high for a deuce, and after a rally, she conceded match point. Shin Yubin’s final shot hit the net and the match ended.스포츠토토

Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin are the first women’s doubles gold medallists in 36 years, since Yang Young-ja and Hyun Jung-hwa in 1987. However, it was their first medal in 12 years since Kim Kyung-ah and Park Mi-young (bronze) in 2011.

In particular, it was a triumphant return to form after a fractured wrist forced Shin Yubin to withdraw from the 2021 Games in Houston, USA, without playing a single match. Shin competed while taking anti-inflammatory medication, while Jeon was not at full strength due to nagging left knee pain.

When asked how she felt about finishing, Shin was unable to speak for a while and burst into tears. “I’m grateful that my sister was with me,” she said, “and I’m happy that I was able to do this, thanks to the people who helped me.” Jeon Jeon-hee said, “It feels like a dream to be in the final. Thanks to Yoo Bin-i, I’m here today,” she said, adding, “Yoo Bin-i is creating a new path for Korean women’s table tennis.”

In the men’s doubles final, Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon lost 0-3 (11-13 6-11 5-11) to China’s world number one pair of Fan Zhen-dong and Wang Chuchin. It was the second consecutive silver medal for Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon, who became the first Korean men’s doubles team to win a silver medal at the last event.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win gold,” said Jang Woo-jin, “but I’m honoured to be part of history. I will try to follow in the footsteps of Yoo Seung-min, Kim Taek-soo, and other seniors.” Lim Jong-hoon also said, “It’s a shame that I couldn’t change the colour of my medal,” but “I’m happy that I’ve overcome many obstacles to get here.”

Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung also won bronze in the men’s doubles. The pair were narrowly beaten by Pan Jeon-dong and Wang Chung-hwa 1-3 in the quarter-finals, but bounced back to beat defending champions Christian Karlsson and Matthias Falk (SWE) 3-1 in the final.

“There were times when I was shaky, but Dae-Sung covered me well. When we play well together, we have a scary explosive power,” said Lee Sang-soo, adding, “We will try to improve our skills to be on par with the Chinese players.” “I’m happy to win my first individual medal at the World Championships,” said Cho Dae-sung, “and now that I’ve won bronze, I’ll try to go higher.”

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