by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Winning but perhaps not at their best in the early stages, or so it seemed to be until this morning when the Korea Republic side warmed themselves into the hearts of their fans with their display against Chinese Taipei. The manner in which they beat Chinese Taipei, the Korea Republic found their feet with their aggressiveness and fighting spirit.
They had been unbeaten in the competition, having taken down the likes of United States and Sweden in the group matches to set up a quarter-final tie against Brazil. In the encounter against a Brazilian side, without talisman Hugo Calderano, the most experienced member of the Korea Republic team, Lee Sangsu failed to come to the party. He lost to Eric Jouti (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8). Nevertheless, the Koreans still managed to secure their passage to the semi-final.
In the semi-final clash against Chinese Taipei, the Korea Republic athletes put all their feet forward and ensured that they were not stung by the Chinese Taipei side. A comeback from the pair of Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik against Chen Chien-An and Liao Cheng-Ting (4-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) was the motivation they needed to eventually beat Chinese Taipei.
Next, Jang Woojin did not lift his foot from pedal to beat Lin Yun-Ju (11-9, 5-11, 15-13, 11-8), before Jeoung Youngsik accounted for Liao Cheng-Ting to end matters (11-2, 11-7, 11-9).
“It was a very difficult match for us particularly in the doubles tie. The Chinese Taipei doubles’ pair are very strong and they showed that by taking a 2-0 lead but we were determined to reverse the match and we started playing aggressively. This really worked us to win the tie at 3-2 and winning the doubles really motivated us to go all out in the match.” Lee Sangsu.
Korea Republic awaits either China or Japan in the final.
“For the final, both China and Japan are very strong; but anyone of them that emerge, we are sure that the final will be very exciting tomorrow.” Lee Sangsu