by Simon Daish
Featuring as partners for the very first time Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim sent the crowd into a rapturous applause after the United Korea duo fought back from a game down to beat China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha to the Mixed Doubles title in Daejeon (5-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8).
Success for the Korean Peninsula to celebrate as a whole and for Jang Woojin an occasion he will never forget.
“I felt very nervous because this was a huge match and had a lot of attention in the news. I felt like we needed to win this match and I am very happy we have done so. I never experienced any matches where I had goose bumps while playing table tennis but this was one of them, I would like to thank the fans for coming out to cheer for us. Thank you for the victory.” Jang Woojin
Dramatic scenes from the Mixed Doubles competition but in the Women’s Singles event is was business as usual as the top two seeded players negotiated the semi-finals with little to worry about.
Prevailing over No.8 seed Cheng I-Ching by a five games score-line earlier in the day (11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6), top seed Chen Meng recovered from a two games deficit to see off fifth seed Liu Shiwen in the last four (9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).
Zhu Yuling, seeded second, came through her day’s work with a perfect record to her name, defeating the host nation’s Suh Hyowon (11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4) and Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa (11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9) without conceding a game.
The line-up for the Men’s Singles final has also been decided and much to the delight of the local spectators in Daejeon one of those places has been awarded to Jang Woojin.
Pulling off a huge comeback in the quarter-finals Jang Woojin accounted for fellow compatriot Jeong Sangeun in a seven game thriller (11-6, 7-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4) but it was his performance in the semi-finals that really caught the eye as 10th seed Jun Mizutani fell to a five games defeat against the Korean (11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10). Awaiting Jang Woojin in the final is Liang Jingkun, successfully overcame second seed Lin Gaoyuan in an all-China semi-final.