by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The reason was Lim Jonghoon, the winner two days earlier of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; most pertinently the only Korean remaining in the Men’s Singles event.
Not seeded, required to compete in the qualification tournament, he beat Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed, in a dramatic full distance seven games duel to bring the day to and end (12-14, 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Last week at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships in Wuxi, Jeong Sangeun pressed his claim for a place in the Korean first team by finishing in the runners up spot; in Incheon Lim Jonghoon has done the same. One wonders, when the selection is made for the 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad, which names will appear in the nation’s selection.
Gone are the days of Ryu Seungmin, Oh Sangeun and Joo Saehyuk who won the silver medal in the in the Men’s Team event at the London 2012 Olympic Games; in Halmstad could we see both Jeong Sangeun and Lim Jonghoon on duty, perhaps alongside Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu? It is food for thought.
Defeat for Chinese Taipei and as the day closed, there was another but as status predicted; Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.5 seed, ended the hopes of Chen Chien-An, the no.13 seed. He emerged successful in six games (12-14, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7).
In the round of the last eight, Lim Jonghoon and Marcos Freitas meet; both the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 22nd April.