Amazing recovery by Kim Kyungah paved way for Hong Kong victory
Photo By: An Sung Ho
Singapore and Korea, the third and fourth seeds in the Women’s Team event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, both emerged successful in their quarter-final encounters Saturday 4th August.
Both recorded three-nil victories.
The trio comprising Feng Tianwei, Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu guided Singapore to victory over the comparatively inexperienced DPR Korean outfit of Kim Jong, Ri Mi Gyong and Ri Myong Sun.
Soon after the Korean team formed by Dang Yeseo, Kim Kyungah and Seok Hajung performed likewise in opposition to Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun, Lee Ho Ching and Tie Yana.
However, the three-nil victory margin for the victors was arguably closer than the results suggest; especially in the duel between Korea and Hong Kong.
Under the “late replacement policy”, Korea had been given special permission to replace the defender Park Miyoung with the attacker Dang Yeseo.
The former was suffering from a back injury, which was verified by the medical experts.
Dang Yeseo Responds
In her first match of the tournament, Dang Yeseo gave Korea the perfect start.
She beat Tie Yana in three straight games (14-12, 11-9, 11-4).
No drama occurred in the opening match but that was not the situation in the second contest; it seemed that Hong Kong would level matters.
Jiang Huajun led Kim Kyungah 7-1 and 8-3 in the deciding fifth game; amazingly Kim Kyunah levelled at 9-all, then went ahead 10-9. Jiang Huajun saved the match point but when Kim Kyungah had a second chance at 11-10, she could not repeat the feat.
Kim Kyungah won a thrilling five games duel (11-4, 4-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10).
Brink of Defeat
Korea celebrated but then in the doubles they experienced problems.
Dang Yeseo and Seok Hajung won the first three games against Lee Ho Ching and Tie Yana before losing the next two asnd winning the fifth by the narrowest of margins.
Hard Fought but Not Dramatic
A hard fought win for Korea and it was the same for Singapore but without the drama
Wang Yuegu gave Singapore the perfect start by overcoming the defensive skills of Ri Myong Sun, a player with far less experience than the Singaporean and almost ten years her junior.
The Singaporean won in four games (11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5).
Different Career Stages
No doubt the London 2012 Olympic Games is the swansong for Wang Yuegu; for Ri Myong Sun it is the opposite.
It is very much the start of her international career. She was on duty at the Asian Championships in Macau and the LIEBHERR World Team Championships in Dortmund earlier in the year but that is the limit of her global experience.
Four Years Hence
She possesses a reliable defence combined with the ability to execute a forehand top spin.
It is not of the quality of the Chinese defenders Fan Ying or Wu Yang but one wonders in four years time, should the chance arise to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, she may be a most dangerous proposition.
However, could her place in the DPR Korean Team be under threat?
At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, her compatriot Kim Song I, also a defender reached the quarter-finals of the Girls’ Singles event and in the first stage of proceedings recorded a victory over Gu Yuting, the eventual Girls’ Singles gold medallist.
Success for Wang Yuegu was followed by victory for Feng Tianwei.
She beat Kim Jong but she did experience problems; she lost the first game, won the second but in the third trailed 6-8 before succeeding.
Winning the close third game gave her confidence a major injection of adrenalin; in the third game she established a lead and was never in danger. She won in four games (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6) to put Singapore in command.
Four Games Again
In both contests experience had won the day; it was the same in the doubles. Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu struggled to find a rhythm in the opening game but in the second game they were in tune and in harmony.
A comfortable second games success steadied nerves and from that moment they assumed control.
The two singles matches had seen DPR Korea threaten but fall short in four games; the doubles was not different. Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu won in four games (4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).
At the semi-final stage Korea meets China, Singapore confronts Japan.