by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Choe Il was beaten by Ro Kwang Jin in a contest that was to prove the closest of the round, a six games margin of victory was the verdict in his favour (12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 14-12, 12-10, 15-13).
A recovery from two games to one in arrears; there were no such revivals needed by Kang Wi Hun, nor by Pak Sin Hyok. Kang Wi Hun beat Kim Song Gun (11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6); meanwhile, Pak Sin Hyok continued his dominance over Ro Hyon Song. In Pyongyang in both 2015 and 2016, Pak Sin Hyok had beaten Ro Hyon Song; in 2017 he made it three in a row. He emerged successful in four straight games (11-4, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
All DPR Korean contests, in the one round of last eight matches that featured a player from foreign shores, it was success for the hosts, thus guaranteeing the title would once again rest in the hands of the home nation.
Kim Hyong Jin beat Iran’s Arya Amiri in four straight games (11-8, 11-2, 11-6, 11-6).
At the semi-final stage Pak Sin Hyok meets Ro Kwang Jin; Kang Wi Hun confronts Kim Hyong Jin.
The semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 5th August as will the penultimate round of the Men’s Doubles competition; an event which, as the Men’s Singles, is destined for the hosts.
Choe Il and Pak Sin Hyok face Hwang Chun Nam and Ri Kwang Myong; Kang Wi Hun and Sim Un Song oppose Ham Yu Song and Kim Song Gun. In the one quarter-final contest required, Hwang Chun Nam and Ri Kwang Myong overcame colleagues Kim Jin Su and Ro Kwang Jin (11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8).