13 Dec 2018

Winners earlier in the year in not too far distant Daejeon when in unison for the very first time, the pairing at the centre of attention as play commenced in the Mixed Doubles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Final in Incheon, Korea Republic Thursday 13th December was that of the host nation’s Jang Woojin and DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim.

Furthermore, they did not disappoint; the no.2 seeds, they beat the Japanese combination of Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.5 seeds and reigning World champions (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5) to book their place in the semi-finals.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A close opening game went in favour of Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim after saving one game point; again in the second they trailed 6-9, they secured the next two points, Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa called “Time Out”, it proved a wise move, they did not lose another point.

Immediately Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim responded, in the third game they sped into a 6-2 lead, the grip was never relinquished; Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa replied, they prevailed in the fourth but not after some moments of consternation. They led 10-6, only to lose the next three points before succeeding.

Tension high, in the vital fifth, Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim, held a 5-3 lead at the change of ends; they never relaxed the advantage; they surrendered just two further points.

“It was an honour just to play the match in our country and by winning the match, I was glad to return the fans’ cheering and support. We shall try harder and train more now to win the next game. I felt the same support in Daejeon. I realized how the fans can really give me greater strength. I believe that the fans cheering me can actually turn into additional points in the game, enabling us to win.” Jang Woojin

Defeat Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, there was also defeat for the pair they had beaten in the Liebherr 2017 World Championships final. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seeds, suffered by the very narrowest of margins at the hands of Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.7 seeds (11-6, 10-12, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9).

Conversely for Japan but there was success; colleagues Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito, the no.6 seeds, in the immediate preceding contest, had beaten Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the top seeds (9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10).  The host nation pair suffering at the same time as their colleagues, Lim Jonghoon and Yang Haeun had been in scintillating form; the no.4 seeds, they accounted for Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the no.8 seeds, in three straight games (11-6, 11-7, 12-10).

At the semi-final stage Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito meet Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem; in the opposite half of the draw Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim confront colleagues Lim Jonghoon and Yang Haeun.

The semi-finals of the Mixed Doubles event will be played on Friday 14th December.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Grand Finals Jang Woojin Cha Hyo Sim

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

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