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No Star Players In Women’s Table Tennis

Posted February. 01, 2005 22:23,   


The competition to select new members of the national table tennis team, held in Chungcheong Province, is an examination hall to test the generation shift in Korean women’s table tennis.

The secondary competition had finished January 31, and 30 players, both men and women, were selected. The third competition to select 16 players will start on February 2. The silver medal winners of the 2004 Athens Olympics, Lee Eun-sil (Samsung Life Insurance), and Seok Eun-mi (Korean Airlines) have recently retired. Kim Bok-rae (KRA), who ranked fourth in the Athens Olympics, has dropped out during the secondary competition. Korean women’s table tennis requires new players to prepare for the 2005 World Championship, which will be held in Shanghai.

There is no star player-

The retired Lee Eun-sil and Seok Eun-mi have won in many championships like the 2000 Asian Championship, and 2002 Asian Games ever since there were selected members of the Korean national team in 1995. The gap without them is very huge. The problem is that it seems that there are no star players other than Kim Gyung-ah, who won the bronze medal in the Athens Olympics. Although there are players like Lee Eun-hee (Danyang County Office), Moon Hyun-jung (Samsung Life Insurance), Yoon Ji-hye (Korean Racing Association), and Kim Gyung-ha (Korean Airlines), they seem to be in the background and they don’t have special skills. Moreover, as Yoon Ji-hye did not participate in the secondary competition due to injuries, and Kim Bok-rae was disqualified, it’s even difficult to form a doubles team.

Emergency is a new opportunity-

Kim Hyung-seok, coach of Korean Airlines, said, “It took seven years for Lee Eun-sil and Seok Eun-mi to play their roles in the national team. Although it is an emergency at this moment, it’s a great opportunity for new players.”

It was also very refreshing to see teenage players like Shim Sae-rom (Myungji High School), and Jo Ha-ra (Gunsan Central Girls High School) advancing to the third round of competition. Shim Sae-rom ranked second in Group A with six wins and two losses, and Jo Ha-ra ranked third in the Group C with five wins and three losses.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com