World No. 1 pair Shin Yoo-bin (Korean Air) and Jeon Jeon-hee (Mirae Asset Securities) settled for bronze at the Pyeongchang Asian Table Tennis Championships 2023 after losing to the Chinese pair.
The pair lost 1-3 (5-11 11-5 9-11 8-11) to China’s Sun Yingxia and Wang Yidi (unranked) in the women’s doubles semifinals on the final day of competition at the Pyeongchang Dome in Gangwon Province on Tuesday.
It was the second straight loss for Shin Yubin-Jeon Hee, who won the 2021 Doha Games, which China did not participate in due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The South Korean team finished with one silver and four bronze medals.
Earlier, the team won one silver in the women’s team event and one bronze in the men’s team event, with Lim Jong-hoon and Shin Yubin winning the mixed doubles and Lim Jong-hoon and Jang Woo-jin and Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun (Korea Water Resources Corporation) taking bronze in the men’s doubles.
The Korean team had a rather disappointing performance on the home table, reaching only one final and being ‘wiped out’ in the round of 16 in the men’s and women’s singles.
The Pyeongchang Asian Championships are a precursor to the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which kick off on March 23.
Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee came into the match motivated, but were pushed back from the start by the sophisticated attacks of No. 1 Sun Ying-sa and No. 3 Wang Yidi.
In particular, Sun Yingxia, who had just lost to her “rival” Wang Manyu in the women’s singles final the day before, pounded the Korean table as if in anger.
Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee were unable to capitalize on their momentum in the third game, when they came from behind to level the score at 8-8.
Earlier in the day, China’s Wang Manyu-Tianmeng (ranked 93rd) defeated Japan’s Nagasaki Miyu-Miyu (ranked 8th) 3-2 (8-11 9-11 11-9 11-5 11-8) in the semifinals, setting up a showdown between Chinese pairs in the women’s doubles final.
Wang Manyu-Tianmeng defeated Sun Yingsha-Wang Yidi 3-0 (11-4 11-9 11-5) in the final to win the title.
Wang Manyu swept the singles and doubles titles to win a double individual title.
In the men’s singles final, Marung (No. 3) won a hard-fought 3-2 (11-7 5-11 7-11 11-5 11-6) victory over Fan Zhendong (No. 1) to become the first Asian champion in 10 years after the 2013 edition.
China swept all seven gold medals on offer at the tournament, reaffirming its status as table tennis’ most dominant nation.
The Pyeongchang Asian Championships was a successful conclusion to eight days of intense competition.
On the ninth and tenth days, when the excitement reached its peak, the event was a box office success, with more than 1,000 spectators per day.
“It’s important for Korean table tennis to see the potential of the event ahead of next year’s World Championships in Busan,” said Yoo Seung-min, president of the Korea Table Tennis Association (KTA), “but we need to look at it in more detail and decide the way forward.”
“However, we were disappointed that our players’ performance was not as good as we expected. The players were tired from the heavy competition schedule, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for the national team. I hope they can quickly regroup and find their form before the Asian Games.” 파워볼