Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon will head to the finals of the World Table Tennis Championship for the first time as South Korean players.
The South Korean team of Jang and Lim ranked No. 16 in the world beat the Japanese team of Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami 3-1 in in the men’s doubles semi-final of the World Table Tennis championship in Huston on Monday. The South Korean players were defeated by the Japanese team in the Asian Table Tennis Championship final 1-3. However, they secured a win in just one month at the bigger stage, putting their names on the history of South Korean table tennis.
“I enjoyed every game instead of feeling pressured. I will bring a gold medal for South Korean table tennis,” said Jang. “The Swedish team has good energy as they beat China twice and made it to the final. But we have performed better at major competitions,” said Lim with confidence.
“The combination of a right-handed player and a left-handed player is advantageous for the doubles. The two player’s combination is great,” said the manager of KBG table tennis team, Choi Hyun-jin, who has coached both players. “Left-handed Lim makes the next ball easy with a strong backhand when receiving a ball, and right-handed Jang scores with a forehand, which is his strength.”
South Korean table tennis players have earned a total of eight bronze medals at world championships, starting from the team of Ahn Jae-hyung and Yoo Nam-kyu in the 1978 New Delhi championship to the team of Lee Sang-soo and Jeong Young-sik in the 2017 Düsseldorf championship. The most recent gold medal won by a South Korean player in a world championship was the South Korean-Chinese team of Yang Ha-eun and Xu Xin in the mixed doubles of the 2015 Suzhou championship.
The final will be held on Tuesday. The South Koreans will compete against the Swedish team of Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Falck who beat the Chinese team of Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun 3-0. The Swedish team also defeated another Chinese team of Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin in the quarterfinal.