by Ian Marshall, Editor
The dynamic 22 year old born in Sokcho but now resident in Yangyang, beat China’s Xu Xin, the no.3 seed and the most successful player ever in the history of the tournament, the only player to have won the title on three previous occasions.
Memorably, Jang Woojin won in five games (11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-7). Over the years Xu Xin has proved the master of recovery, time and again he lost the opening games and then fought back; after he secured the third did we not expect a recovery to follow? The close fourth game turned the tide.
“It was my first time I had so much support from the enthusiastic spectators, I became nervous; at the crucial times the Korean spectators supported and encouraged me a lot. They gave me energy; on the other hand it might have been a burden for my opponent. Xu Xin is the top ranking player. Even when I led in the match, I didn’t feel as though I was leading. Ahead three-one I tried not to focus on the result. I made my mind up just to focus on every single point; that is why I won this match.” Jang Woojin
Defeat for Xu Xin, there was also defeat for Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed on his return to international duty after a period of injury. He was beaten by a player who is no stranger; if we take into account international meetings and those in the Russian League we must be approaching three figures. He was beaten by Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.10 seed (11-6, 2-11, 11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4).
The defeats endured by Xu Xin and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, added to the reverse experienced earlier in the day by the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik, means that Jun Mizutani is the only remaining previous Men’s Singles winner left in the draw. Notably he won in 2009 when the tournament was staged in Seoul.
Surprise outcomes and there was one more; China’s Liang Jingkun, like Jang Woojin a qualifier, beat the man of the moment; he overcame Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.7 seed, in four straight games (11-9, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8).
Furthermore, there was notable success for the host nation, the only second round Men’s Singles defeat being that experienced by Cho Seungmin; he was overpowered by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.8 seed (11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Otherwise it was success for Korea Republic; Lee Sangsu, the no.5 seed and Lim Jonghoon, the no.15 seeds, both ended the adventures of DPR Korean colleagues who had started their journey’s in the qualification tournament. Lee Sangsu beat 19 year old Han Yu Song (11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7), Lim Jonghoon accounted for An Ji Song (12-10, 11-1, 11-5, 11-8). Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Jeong Sangeun ended the progress of fellow qualifier, Japan´s Yuya Oshima (11-8, 11-9, 13-11, 11-3).
Noteworthy performances; in the one remaining second round Men’s Singles contest it was the same from China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed, he accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.12 seed (4-11, 15-13, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9).
At the quarter-final stage Jun Mizutani meets Lee Sangsu, Jeong Sangeun opposes Jang Woojin; in the opposite half of the draw it is Lim Jonghoon versus Liang Jinkun, Hugo Calderano in opposition to Lin Gaoyuan.
Both quarter and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 21st July.