by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success meant two seconds for Cho Seungmin. It was a second title of the tournament, the previous day he had won the Under 21 Men’s Singles competition, when beating Germany’s Tobias Hippler in the final (11-9, 11-6, 11-4). Also it was a second time he had won the Men’s Doubles event in Spain; some four months ago when the tournament was staged in Almeria, he partnered colleague Park Ganghyeon to success.
Meanwhile, for An Jaehyun it was his first ever appearance in either an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series final in any discipline; his focus in recent years being very much at junior level. Notably he was a semi-finalist at the 2015 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals in Indore.
The one member of the quartet with the greatest experience was without any shadow of a doubt, Cho Eonrae; now 31 years old a player from a generation earlier than his compatriots competing in the Guadalajara final.
Overall, combining the ITTF World Tour and ITTF Challenge Series, he was competing in his seventh Men’s Doubles final with no less than his sixth national team partner.
Joining forces with Kim Donghyun, he had won in 2016 in Bulgaria, notably beating Kim Minhyeok and Park Ganghyeon in the final; it was a year in which the duo also reached the title deciding contest in Croatia but had to settle for runners up spot.
Also in 2016 he had won in the Czech Republic when partnering Park Jeongwoo and two years earlier in Doha alongside Seo Hyundeok. Earlier in 2007 in liaison with Lee Jungwoo he had been the runner up in Croatia, the same fate as was to be the outcome in 2009 on home soil in Korea when lining up alongside Kim Junghoon.
Runners up spot for Cho Eonrae on three occasions; in Guadalajara the number was increased to four; the top prize belonged to An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin.