by Ian Marshall, Editor
Jang Woojin emerged successful in the battle of Korean World Junior champions, the winner in 2013 in Rabat; he beat his colleague, Jeong Sangeun, the player who had won six years earlier when the tournament was staged in 2007 in Palo Alto.
Both qualifiers, the win recorded by Jang Woojin was not without moments of anxiety; he had to recover from a three games to one deficit to secure victory (11-6, 7-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4).
“I felt uncomfortable; the match was not that good for me overall, even though won. I was careless. Frankly speaking, I tried to empty my mind, I tried to think get just one game. If I continued to play the way I did it at the start, it was impossible for me to win. I won because I believed in myself when I was playing. It is something new to me. I can’t believe I could make it this far. I’m good now but I can go down anytime, so I will try always to be a good player and train hard as usual.” Jang Woojin
Success for Jang Woojin but for Lee Sangsu and Lim Jonghoon, it was defeat. In a contest between two very evenly matched players, Lee Sangsu, the no.5 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.10 seed, in six games (8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8). Rather more convincingly, Lim Jonghoon, the no.15 seed, suffered at the hands of China’s powerful, Liang Jingkun, who like Jang Woojin a player who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament. Most imposingly, Liang Jingkun prevailed in four straight games (12-10, 11-2, 11-2, 11-5).
Most impressive from Liang Lingkun; four months ago at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha, it had been a very similar performance from Brazil’s Hugo Calderano at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event. On that occasion he had beaten Lin Gaoyuan in four straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6).
In Daejeon, Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed and like Liang Jinkun from China, extracted revenge; he overcame Hugo Calderano, the no.8 seed, in six games (11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-1, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage, Jun Mizutani meets Jang Woojin, Liang Jingkun opposes Lin Gaoyuan; the matches are scheduled for later in the day in the evening session of play.