South Korean table tennis has won three medals at the World Championships, marking the first time the sport has won a medal in 20 years since 2003.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin won silver in the women’s doubles final for the first time in 36 years, avenging the loss of Han to injury two years ago. Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon became the first Korean men’s doubles team to win back-to-back silver medals, while Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung took bronze as the defending champions.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yubin lost 0-3 (8-11 7-11 10-12) to China’s Chen Meng and Wang Yidi in the women’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).
After reaching the final the day before with a 3-0 victory over world No. 1 Sun Yingxia and Wang Manyu (China), the Korean duo battled hard in every game but came up short.
Jeon Jeon-hee and Shin Yoo-bin were hoping to become the first women’s doubles gold medalists 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, 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. It was a significant accomplishment for Shin, who competed while taking anti-inflammatory medication, and Jeon, who 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 because of the people who helped me.” Jeon Jeon-hee said, “It feels like a dream to be in the final. I’m here because of Yoo Bin Yi,” and praised Yoo, saying, “She is creating a new path for Korean women’s table tennis.”
In the men’s doubles final, the Korean pair of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon lost to the world No. 1 pair of Fan Zhen-dong and Wang Chu-chin of China 3-0 (11-13 6-11 5-11). It was the second consecutive silver medal for the pair, who became the first Korean men’s doubles team to win a silver medal at the last tournament.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win gold,” said Jang Woo-jin, “but I’m honored to be a part of history. I’m determined to follow in the footsteps of Yoo Seung-min and Kim Taek-soo.” Lim Jong-hoon also said, “It’s a shame that I couldn’t change the color of my medal,” but “I’m happy that I’ve overcome many obstacles to get here.”안전놀이터
Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung also won bronze in the men’s doubles. The Korean pair lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals to Pan Jeon-dong and Wang Chung-hwa, 1-3, but bounced back to beat defending champions Christian Karlsson and Matthias Falk (SWE) 3-1 in the semifinals.
“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.”