South Korean women’s table tennis failed to cross the ‘Great Wall of China’ and finished with a silver medal in the team event at the Pyeongchang 2023 Asian Table Tennis Championships.
Korea’s Shin Yoo-bin (Korean Air), Jeon Ji-hee (Mirae Asset Securities) and Yang Ha-eun (POSCO International) fell to China 0-3 in the women’s team final on the third day of competition at the Pyeongchang Dome in Gangwon Province on Friday.
South Korea’s women’s team of Shin Yubin (No. 9-ranked singles), Jeon Ji-hee (No. 33) and Yang Ha-eun (No. 67), along with Seo Hyo-won (No. 61-Korea Horse Society) and Lee Eun-hye (No. 80-Korean Air), won the silver medal.
This is the second consecutive time South Korea has finished runner-up in the women’s team event following the 2021 Doha Games, where China did not compete due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Japan won the Doha Games.
In Pyeongchang, Japan, which lost to China, and Hong Kong, which lost to South Korea, tied for bronze in the semifinals.
Chinese women continue their individual medal hunt in mixed doubles, women’s doubles and women’s singles.
With a team of players ranked 1-5 in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) singles rankings, including Sun Yingxia (1st), Chen Meng (2nd), Wang Yidi (3rd), Chen Xingtong (4th) and Wang Manyu (5th), China regained the women’s team title for the first time in four years after the 2019 Yogyakarta Games. It was their 19th overall title.
Compared to the semifinals, Korean women’s head coach Oh Kwang-heon made a change to his team, dropping defensive player Seo Hyo-won (Korea Horse Society) and bringing in offensive player Yang Ha-eun, in order to more aggressively counter the Chinese attack.
China, led by Marin, went to the final table with an even stronger lineup, withdrawing No. 4 Chen Xingtong, who played in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and inserting No. 3 Wang Yidi.
From the first singles, it was a battle between the aces of both teams, Xin Yubin and Sun Yingxia.
Yubin Shin never backed down in the match. In the early stages, she even took a one-point lead. However, she began to lose ground to Sun Yingxia’s sophisticated attacks and eventually lost the game with a score of 0-3 (8-11 7-11 7-11).
Playing against Chen Heng in the second singles, Jeon Jeon-hee managed to turn the tide once in the third game, but eventually went down 1-3 (5-11 6-11 11-9 6-11).
In third singles, Yang Ha-eun fell to Wang Yidi 0-3 (1-11 4-11 6-11).
“We have to admit that there was a clear gap,” said Oh, “and we have to start by recognizing that gap and reducing it.”
Shin Yubin said, “It’s no consolation to say that we fought well. I realized that we are still not good enough,” he said, adding, “I would like to make up for the shortcomings in the individual events with better performances than in the team events.”
In the men’s team competition, the Korean team, coached by Joo Se-hyuk, will face China in the semifinals on Saturday at 12 noon.
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles event, which qualifies the winner for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Korean pairs reached the round of 16.
Lim Jong-hoon (KEX) and Shin Yoo-bin defeated Singapore’s Choo Zhou-yu and Zheng Jian 3-1 (11-9 11-7 7-11 15-13) in the round of 32.
The pair won the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Rio de Janeiro 2023 in August, just prior to this tournament.
Jang Woo-jin and Jeon Jeon-hee defeated Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerasimenko-Anastasiya Lavrova 3-0 (11-5 11-9 11-9). 토토사이트