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Kwak Achieves Her First Win as a Korean

Posted December. 01, 2006 06:37,   


“I’m so happy for my first win as a Korean,” said Kwak Bang-bang (26, Korea Racing Association), a Korean table tennis player in the Asian Games Doha 2006. Formerly, her name was Guo Fang-fang, and was representing Hong Kong.

On November 29, at Al-Arabi Indoor Hall, located in Doha, Kwak had a table tennis team match in the preliminary round of Group C with Mongolia. She played with a Korean flag on her chest. After her team won with a final game score 3-0, she was so delighted as if she won a gold medal.

Showing up as Team Korea’s second player in the match, Kwak made a big contribution by beating Batsaikhan Batkhishig 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-5).

Born in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province in China, Kwak immigrated to Hong Kong in 1999 and became a member of the national table tennis team there. She fell in love with a Korean ping-pong player, Kim Seung-hwan (Bucheon City), and had been going out with him for six years until they got married last year. They are the second “Sino-Korean ping-pong couple” after Ahn Jae-hyeong and Jiao Zhimin.

As she acquired Korean nationality in January this year, she decided her Korean name to be Kwak Bang-bang. By winning all 13 of her games in the selection tournament, she proudly joined Team Korea’s squad for the Asian Games.

In men’s soccer, both North Korea and Japan, which are among the gold candidates, had a hard time. In the first qualifying game of Group F held on November 30 at the Qatar Sports Club, North Korea drew with Syria, 0-0. Japan, which is 47th in the FIFA rankings, managed a close 3-2 win against Pakistan, which is 165th according to the same standard.