by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Man of the moment for Korea was Jeoung Youngsik; in the opening match of the fixture he beat Tomokazu Harimoto by the very narrowest of seven game margins (17-15, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9), before in the fourth contest accounting for Jun Mizutani in four games to conclude matters (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).
“Tomokazu Harimoto is a rising star, you have to be really focused when you play against him; I won 11-9 in the fifth game, there was very little difference between us. I tried to stay calm and focused, perhaps at the very end of the match I was just slightly mentally stronger. Playing Jun Mizutani I was aware that if I won we would be in the semi-final; my backhand is my strength, I focused on playing strongly with my backhand towards his backhand.” Jeoung Youngsik
Two wins for Jeoung Youngsik, the one further Korean success came from Jang Woojin; in the third match of the engagement, he accounted for Kenta Matsudaira (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7). The one win for Japan was secured by Jun Mizutani; in the second match of the fixture, he overcame Lee Sangsu (9-11, 11-13, 11-3, 12-14, 11-7).
Throughout Korean progress was guided by Kim Taeksoo who was understandably delighted with the efforts of his team.
“We have a really strong team spirit, we are together, individually they have very good players but we are very much together. Before the match I reminded them about the defeat in London and that here was a chance to avenge that defeat. Everyone was motivated.” Kim Taeksoo
At the semi-final stage Korea meets the winner of the contest between Brazil and Germany.