12 Sep 2016

Spectators were treated to a wonderful Men's Singles final at the 2016 Belarus Open, rounding off the five day tournament with a fantastic display of Table Tennis.

The final turned out to be a match of two halves, after Jang Woojin recovered from 0-3 behind to seal a stunning 4-3 victory.

by Simon Daish

Super Comeback From Jang

Jang Woojin had never previously won the Men’s Singles title at an ITTF World Tour event, and he came extremely close to extending his barren run –  an amazing comeback was required for the player from Korea Republic to win the trophy.

Russia’s Grigory Vlasov will be kicking himself for not putting the final to bed when he had the chance, after surrendering a commanding lead to the 21-year-old.

Second seed Vlasov looked untouchable at the start of the tie playing on the front foot against the number one seed, and the scoreline reflected the positive showing from the Russian as he thundered to a 0-3 lead in no time.

With the final being the first to four ends, Vlasov was on cruise control while Jang was attempting to limit the damage but against all the odds it was the Asian player who would finish the match as the happier of the two finalists.

Game four went to Jang and the fifth end soon followed; surely Vlasov would do enough in the space of the next two games to see out the match? The answer was no, as a fired up Jang Woojin pulled out all of the stops to achieve arguably one of his greatest victories to date (8-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5).

“This is my first world tournament title and I’m very happy. The final match turned out to be difficult, since I was getting used to the opponent for at least three sets, but then was able to choose the right tactics and win the match. I really enjoyed the tournament, it was very well organized, and next year I plan to come back to Belarus” – Jang Woojin (Korea Republic).

More Success Around the Corner?

There is no denying that Jang Woojin has the potential to enjoy a very successful Table Tennis career, but now that he’s a World Tour Singles champion will Jang be able to take the next step and put his name up there with the world’s top players?

Picking up the 2013 World Junior Championship gold and having beaten China’s Zhang Jike twice at the 2015 Asian Championships, Jang Woojin can compete at the top of the game but whether he can find a high level of consistency or not remains to be seen.

The World Tour heads to China next where the likes of Ma Long (China) and Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong) will take part; Jang is also travelling so a possible chance for the Korean player to shine lies ahead.

Latest Results

Sunday 11th September: Men’s Singles – Main Event

World Tour Belarus Open Jang Woojin Grigory Vlasov