by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In 2015 Pak Sin Hyok had been beaten in the final by Choe Il; one year ago, Kang Wi Hun had secured the title at the expense of China’s Xu Yingbin.
A reversal of fortunes in the Men’s Singles event when compared with 2015; when compared with the same year, in the Men’s Doubles competition, it was a repeat of fortunes.
On that occasion Choe Il and Pak Sin Hyok had beaten colleagues An Ji Song and Ro Hyun Song in the final; in 2017 in the title deciding contest, they accounted for Kang Wi Hun and Sim Un Song.
Thus, just as Choe Il had departed proceedings with two titles to his name in 2015; so this year did Pak Sin Hyok.
The results mean that Choe Il and Pak Sin Hyok are the most successful male players from DPR Korea when the ITTF World Tour and ITTF Challenge Series are considered as a whole; each has now one Men’s Singles and two Men’s Doubles titles to their name.
Also, they are clear of the field when Under 21 Men’s Singles events are considered. In 2002 O Su Yung won in Qatar, Ryo Hyon Sop succeeded in the same year in China; whilst in Pyongyang commencing in 2015, the winners have been Pak Un Hyok, Ro Hyon Song and this year Kim Ok Chan. To date none of the quartet as yet gained similar success at senior level.
Choe Il and Pak Sin Hyok are the only players from DPR Korea to win an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series Men’s Doubles title, alongside Kang Wi Hun, they are the country’s only such Men’s Singles winners.
Photos: Ri Myong Song