15 Jul 2018

Staged just over one year ago in late April in the city of Incheon, the host nation player to attract the attention was Lim Jonghoon. He won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title for the second consecutive year, before reaching the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event, eventually losing to Germany’s Patrick Franziska.

Now at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Shinhan Korea Open, which commences in Daejeon on Thursday 19th July, being preceded by a two day qualification tournament, his name is most prominent.

by Ian Marshall, Editor (Interview by Kwon Youngah)

Although still eligible, Lim Jonghoon does not defend his Under 21 Men’s Singles title; however, a potentially busy schedule beckons. In the Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events he appears amongst the seeded names.

In the Men’s Singles he is the no.15 seed, the second highest Korean, Lee Sangsu is the no.5 seed. In the Men’s Doubles partnering Jang Woojin, he occupies the no.6 seeded position in the Men’s Doubles draw; in the Mixed Doubles the no.8 spot in harness with Yang Haeun.

Lim Jonghoon is on the brink of first team selection. Earlier in the year at the Team World Cup in London and at the ensuing Liebherr World Team Championships in Halmstad, he was present but very much the reserve player. In London Jeong Sangeun was the preferred player to line up alongside Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik; in Halmstad it was Jang Woojin.

Lim Jonghoon is learning all the time and perhaps he has the style for the modern era, left handed and powerful.

“I have adapted well to plastic balls. The plastic ball has less rotation than the celluloid ball, so I think it is advantageous for players who play with more power.” Lim Jonghoon

Adapting is a key factor in becoming a high level player; at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Shinhan Korea Open, Lim Jonghoon should have no problems adapting to the environment.

Born in Busan on Tuesday 21st January 1997, two younger brothers, he will be very much at home. He spent his childhood in Daejeon; he now lives in Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do Province where he attends the Division of Health Sports, Uiduk University. Also, like any young player he has his idols; those he greatly respects.

“I like Ryu Seungmin, International Olympic Committee member; I want to be an honourable person in the field of sports diplomacy. I admire Timo Boll. I want to improve my skills continuously and be a good mentor for young players after retirement, I want to be a good coach or leader.” Lim Jonghoon

Table tennis started for Lim Jonghoon when he was six years old as a result of his mother going to the local club to play for fun; son went along and soon joined the Daejeon Bongsan Elementary School Club.

Coached initially by Jeong Jiwon; then by Lee Sangjoon and Kim Taeksoo, he now represents the KGC Club and is very much an established member of the national team.

“Endurance is important. You need to develop your physical strength and practise a lot. There is no need to be disappointed even if no clear results are coming. There are flowers that bloom late. You grow every day and table tennis players who try the hardest are more beautiful than flowers.” Lim Jonghoon

Winner earlier in the year at the ITTF Challenge Series Polish Open in Spala, Lim Jonghoon is starting to bloom.

In Daejeon, can he blossom? Can he prove that perhaps he is worthy of first team selection? The Asian Games is on the horizon.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Shinan Korea Open Lim Jonghoon

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Shinhan Korea Open

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