South Korea’s table tennis team won three medals at the World Championships, marking the first time since 1993 (gold, silver, bronze) that the sport has won three medals in 20 years.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin won the silver medal in the women’s doubles final for the first time in 36 years, avenging the loss of Han two years ago when she was unable to play 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 Yubin lost 0-3 (8-11 7-11 10-12) to China’s Chen Meng-Wang Yidi in the women’s doubles final at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships 2023 at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa on Sunday (local time).
After reaching the final the day before with a 3-0 victory over the world No. 1 pair of 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 2, they led 6-3 before giving up another seven consecutive points.
Trailing 3-4 in the third game, Shin Yubin’s goal and a series of errors by her opponent 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 tie the game at 7-7.
With the score tied at 9-9, Shin Yubin sent a ball over the net and Wang Yidi sent it away for game point. However, Jeon Jeon-hee’s attack went high for deuce, and after a rally, she gave up match point. Shin’s final attack hit the net and the match ended.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yubin play in the women’s doubles final at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships 2023 at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday (local time). Korea Table Tennis Association
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin were seeking the first women’s doubles gold medal in 36 years since Yang Young-ja and Hyun Jung-hwa in 1987. However, it was 12 years since Kim Kyung-ah and Park Mi-young (bronze) won a medal in 2011.
In particular, they were able to shake off the pain of a fractured wrist that forced Shin to withdraw from the 2021 Games in Houston, USA, without playing a single match. Shin competed while taking anti-inflammatory medication, and 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 there with me,” she said, “and I’m happy for the people who helped me to do this.” Jeon Jeon-hee said, “It feels like a dream to be in the final. Thanks to Yoo Bin Yi, I’ve come to this point,” and “Yoo Bin Yi is creating a new path for Korean women’s table tennis.”
Lim Jong-hoon and Jang Woo-jin of South Korea play the world No. 1 pair of Pan Zhen-dong and Wang Chu-chin of China during the men’s doubles final of the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday (Nov. 27). Korea Table Tennis Association
In the men’s doubles final, Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon lost 0-3 (11-13 6-11 5-11) to the world No. 1 pair of Pan Zhen-dong and Wang Chuchin of China. 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 tournament.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win gold,” said Jang Woo-jin, “but I’m honored to be a part of history. I will try to follow in the footsteps of Yoo Seung-min and Kim Taek-soo.” Lim Jong-hoon also said, “It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t change the color of my medal,” but “I’m happy that I’ve overcome many obstacles.”
Members of the South Korean national table tennis team pose with their medals around their necks after the award ceremony of the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Table Tennis Championships at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa, on Nov. 27 (local time). Clockwise from bottom right: Jeon Jeon-hee, Shin Yubin, Cho Dae-sung, Jang Woo-jin, Lim Jong-hoon and Lee Sang-soo. Korea Table Tennis Association안전놀이터
Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung also won a bronze medal in the men’s doubles. The pair lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals to Pan Jeon-Dong and Wang Chung-Hwa, 1-3, but bounced back in the semifinals to defeat defending champions Christian Karlsson and Matthias Falk (SWE), 3-1.
“There were times when I was shaky, but Dae-Sung covered me well. I’m grateful for the explosive power we have when we play well together,” 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 even higher.”