You can’t cross the Great Wall twice… Passion Sister and Piyak are the ‘silver bullet’ of hope

Shin Yoo-bin (19-Korean Air) became the best South Korean female table tennis player since Yang Young-ja (59) and Hyun Jung-hwa (54).

Paired with Jeon Jeon-hee (31-Mirae Asset Securities), who is a year younger, Shin lost 0-3 (8-11, 7-11, 10-12) to China’s Wang Yidi (26)-Tian Meng (29) in the women’s individual doubles final at the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships in Durban, South Africa, on Monday.

The world No. 12 pair of Xin Yubin-Jeon Hee reached the final after defeating the world No. 1 pair of Sun Yingxia (23)-Wang Manyu (24-plus China) 3-0 in the semifinals the previous day, but it was not enough for them to cross the ‘Great Wall’ twice in a row. Jeon is a native of Hebei Province, China, who represented China at the youth level before naturalizing in South Korea in 2011.

It has been 36 years since a Korean woman reached the individual doubles final at the World Championships since Yang Young-ja and Hyun Jung-hwa did so in 1987 in New Delhi. The pair went on to win the World Championship and the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Including singles, Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee are the first Korean women to reach an individual World Championship final in 30 years since Hyun Jung-hwa won in Gothenburg in 1993. “I’m very disappointed that I lost in the final, but I’m also happy that I got the medal I was aiming for,” said Shin Yubin. “In September, I’m going to the Hangzhou Asian Games with my sister Ji Hee. We’ve played against two Chinese teams in this tournament, so we hope to do even better at the Asian Games.”

“I was injured at the World Championships in Houston in 2021,” Shin Yubin said, and then burst into tears. Jeon Jeon-hee then comforted her, saying, “Through the difficulties of that time, such a good day has come.” After playing the first round of singles at the World Championships, which was Shin’s first World Championships as an individual, she returned home without completing the tournament schedule due to a recurrence of the stress fracture. In May last year, she underwent surgery to put pins in her wrist.

Jang Woo-jin (28-Mirae Asset Securities) and Lim Jong-hoon (26-Korea Exchange) also won the men’s doubles silver medal at the event. The pair finished as runners-up at the World Championships for the second consecutive time following the 2021 event. “I’m proud to be the first Korean men’s doubles player to reach two World Championship finals in a row,” said Jang Woo-jin. The team of Cho Dae-sung (21) and Lee Sang-soo (33-plus Samsung Life Insurance) won the bronze medal in the men’s doubles.

It’s been 20 years since South Korean table tennis has won more than three medals at a World Championship since Paris 2003 (one silver, two bronze). Some analysts believe that the launch of the Korea Table Tennis League (KTTL) last year, which gave players more experience in practice and abolished the ‘recommendation system’ in the national team selection process, had an impact. Prior to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the national team was also selected by recommendation as it was believed that it was important for doubles players to work well together.먹튀검증

In singles, no Korean men or women made it to the quarterfinals. “To put it bluntly, there is no case where we lost to an opponent we should have beaten in singles,” said Ahn Jae-hyung, 58, chairman of the KTTL. “We are not as good as China and Japan in singles, so we have to spend more time training for doubles, which leads to a further decline in our singles skills.”

After Beijing 2008, Olympic table tennis eliminated men’s and women’s individual doubles. In its place, the men’s and women’s team events are more singles-oriented, with four singles and one doubles. In the Asian Games, men’s and women’s doubles will be reintroduced in Hangzhou, but the team event will be played exclusively in singles for all five matches.

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