26 Nov 2017

A pair of left handers, it is not the favoured partnership when doubles is the subject in question; however, for Korea’s Cho Seungmin and Park Ganghyeon, on the afternoon of Sunday 26th November, the duo emerged successful in the Mediterranean resort of Almeria.

Most impressively they won the Men’s Doubles title at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open; the no.7 seeds, at the final hurdle they accounted for the Russian partnership formed by Andrei Baibuldin and Vitali Murzin (11-5, 11-6, 11-6), very much surprise finalists.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Required to compete in the qualification tournament, on the penultimate day of action, the Russian duo had excelled all expectations; at the quarter-final stage they had beaten India’s Arjun Ghosh and Sanil Shetty, the no.4 seeds (5-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-5), prior to causing an absolute sensation by ending the progress of Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi and Lam Siu Hang, the top seeds (11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Cho Seungmin and Park Ganghyeon had shown a distinct liking for Spain. In the round of the last eight pairs they had accounted for Carlos Franco and Miguel Vilchez (11-4, 11-8, 11-7), before gaining a walk-over against Carlos Machado and Alvaro Robles.

In the final it was very much one way traffic; they were given only minimal time to respond by the quick-fire Koreans who were never in serious danger.

Two left handers in harmony, it is happened before, England’s Desmond Douglas, Paul Day and Skylet Andrew, all left handers formed partnerships in the 1970s as more recently did Danny Heister and Trinko Keen of the Netherlands.

However, one of the most successful was that formed by Frenchmen Patrick Chila and Jean-Philippe Gatien, they won the bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Do such accolades await Cho Seungmin and Park Ganghyeon?

Challenge Series 2017 Spanish Open Cho Seungmin Andrei Baibuldin Vitali Murzin Park Gangheon

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Day 2 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open