by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It is very much unexplored territory for both Koreans; neither has ever previously reached such a round in Men’s Singles event at an international tournament of note.
However, 20 years of age, Park Jeongwoo does have some experience of being in the spotlight on the big stage; some seven months ago at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Belarus Open in the city of Minsk, he partnered the rather more experienced 30 year old Cho Eonrae to Men’s Doubles gold. At the final hurdle the duo overcame colleagues Kim Minhyeok and Park Ganghyeon.
Meanwhile, in the remaining quarter-final Men’s Singles contests, there were wins as status advised; Singapore’s Gao Ning, the top seed, emerged successful, as did Kenji Matsudaira’s colleague, Jin Ueda, the no.3 seed.
Success but both were tested; Gao Ning needed the full seven games and his years of experience to beat Chinese Taipei’s talented 15 year old, Lin Yun-Ju (12-14, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3); somewhat similarly, Jin Ueda required six games to end the hopes of India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.5 seed (11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4).
At the semi-final stage, Gao Ning meets Kang Dongsoon; Park Jeongwoo confronts Jin Ueda.
Proceedings in Bangkok conclude on Sunday 2nd April.