By Henry Chen
Cho Daeseong. This could be one of the names that will raise the level of table tennis for Korea Republic in five to ten years time.
The Korean Republic Men’s Team certainly enjoyed those days when they still have Joo Saehyuk, Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin in their playing lineup. At that time, Korea Republic possessed a high degree of threat to their opponents.
However, those days are gone now. Both Ryu Seungmin and Oh Sangeun have retired. Meanwhile Joo Saehyuk is certainly not in his prime now. These contributed to the evident decrease of the the team’s overall strength and impact.
Korea Republic returned home after the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games empty-handed. It was their first time in history to have failed in stepping on the medal podium in the Olympic Games.
Seeing this, Ahn Jaehyung, the team’s Performance Director, said that they certainly need to build up young and promising talents to be the future of Korea Republic.
His prayer was answered last week. Cho Daeseong showed that he is one of those talents. In last week’s 2016 Chinese Taipei Junior & Cadet Open, the 13-year old Cho did not just demonstrate effective technical skills but also impeccable confidence.
Cho Daeseong played in foreign soil but convincingly surpassed each round in both Junior and Cadet competitions. He defeated some of the crowd favourites like Chen Chun-Hsiang, and Cai Ruei-Fong. Both of them are from the hosting team, Chinese Taipei.
In both competitions, Cho Daeseong secured his seat in the finals but failed to go all the way for the title. He lost to Huang Chien-Tu in the Junior final (10-12, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 5-11) and to Tai Ming-Wei in the Cadet final (8-11,2-11,11-13).
The ending was silver for the player from Korea Republic but his performance was promising enough. Cho Daeseong certainly needs more heart especially in critical moments just like in the final bouts. Hopefully, we get to see more of this guy and his improvements in the near future.