The South Korean men’s and women’s table tennis teams won back-to-back matches in the qualifying round of the Hangzhou Asian Games. The wins clinched first place in the group.
The South Korean women’s table tennis team, led by head coach Oh Kwang-heon, swept the second match of Group D of the Hangzhou Asian Games Women’s Table Tennis Team Competition against Thailand 3-0 in straight sets at the Archer Canal Sports Park Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday afternoon. After a 3-0 win over Pakistan in the morning, South Korea swept Thailand to top the group and advance to the quarterfinals.
South Korea was represented by Shin Yubin (9th-Korean Air), Jeon Ji-hee (33rd-Mirae Asset Securities), and Seo Hyo-won (60th-Korea Horse Racing Association). Thailand was on high alert due to their recent form. However, Korea swept the match without dropping a single game.
The men’s team followed suit. They swept both Macau and Thailand 3-0. The men’s team played an evenly matched lineup of five players and showed a relaxed approach to the game. Lim Jong-hoon (17th-Korea Exchange), Jang Woo-jin (13th), and Park Kang-hyun (176th-Korea Water Resources Corporation) started the first game. The second match featured Ahn Jae-hyun (38th-Korea Exchange) and Oh Jun-sung (97th-Mirae Asset Securities). Born in June 2006, Oh became the youngest player in Korean table tennis history to qualify for the Summer Asian Games at the age of 17. The previous record was held by Yoo Nam-kyu, who played at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games as an 18-year-old high school senior. Oh played in three matches against Thailand, including a 3-0 (11-8, 11-1, 11-7) victory over opponent Nuchart Sittisak. Oh is the son of Oh Sang, who won seven silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Games and one silver and one bronze at the Olympics.
The men’s and women’s teams, who finished first in their groups, will begin the tournament with the quarterfinals. South Korea will not play until the morning of the 23rd and 24th, when the remaining group stage matches and the round of 16 will take 스포츠토토 place. One of the benefits of topping the group is not having to face medal contenders like China and Japan before the quarterfinals. On the women’s side, North Korea, which is in Group C, won its pool-match against Chinese Taipei to top the group, so there is no chance of a North-South showdown in the team competition. However, it is worth keeping an eye on the results of the remaining preliminary matches. The draw for the second-place teams in Groups A through D and the first- and second-place teams in Groups E and F will determine their quarterfinal opponents. Kazakhstan, Iran, and India, all of whom were dominant at the Pyeongchang Asian Championships, will be tough opponents to ignore. On the men’s side, North Korea could also stand in the way of a medal. On the women’s side, Chinese Taipei could be the dark horse of the tournament.