by Kabir Nagpal
Playing against Shanxi Datuhe, the ITTF World Professionals recorded a straight games overall win. It was a display of strength, speed and scintillating shots from ‘Team Koala’.
Commencing with a doubles win, Jeon Jihee and Doo Hoi Kem defeated Zhang Qiang and Wang Xiaotong and took an early lead with their 3-0 showing.
“The close bond within the team gave me a lot of confidence, my partner Doo Hoi Kem also played really well in the Doubles.” Jeon Jihee
“We all cheer for each other in different languages when playing at the table, so it all felt very friendly and homey” Doo Hoi Kem
Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz followed suit with a 3-1 win over Che Xiaoxi – who had defeated Olympic Games champion Ding Ning the day before! And to wrap up their perfect day, Jeon Jihee concluded with a 3-1 victory over Wang Xiaotong.
“I played better than I did yesterday, I think my service is very important, so I’m glad that I could play with my serve. I know she beat Ding Ning yesterday, so I’m very happy to win against her today.” Adriana Diaz
“I was super nervous, but I have so many people cheering for me, so it made me much more secure. It feels like all of us are playing together, and that I felt more confident.” Jeon Jihee
The captain for the ITTF World Professionals, USA’s Lily Zhang also spoke about being honoured to be a part of a truly international team after Jeon’s crucial win:
“We all cheer “Vamos!” when Adriana is playing, and we say “Come on! Fighting!” when Jihee is competing, and when I-Ching play, we say “Jiayou!” to support. Truly international team!” Lily Zhang
Next match on the agenda for the ITTF World Professionals will be againts Shandong Luneng Club (Wang Manyu, Chen Xingtong, Qian Tianyi, Liu Fei, Fan Siqi) at 9 am GMT+8 today, followed by Beijing Shougang Club at 5:55pm GMT+8 (Ding Ning, Guo Yuhan, Li Yake, Li Jiayuan, Sun Chen).