The poster child of Korean women’s table tennis, Shin Yubin, suffered a shock loss to an unknown Thai player at the Asian Table Tennis Championships on home soil.
Shin was knocked out of the women’s singles round of 16 by Paranang Orawan with a game score of 2-3 (9-11 12-10 6-11 11-3 9-11) on day six of the 2023 Asian Table Tennis Championships at the Pyeongchang Dome in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, on Monday. Shin is ranked ninth in the women’s singles world rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on May 5. Paranang, on the other hand, is ranked just 92nd in the world, so it was thought that Shin would be the favorite to win the match, but she unexpectedly struggled and fell to her knees.
Shin Yubin was expected to win the match against Paranang after she swept past Singapore’s Zhang Wan Ling in the round of 32 earlier in the day with a 3-0 game score. However, he faltered after dropping the first game, and while he took the second game in a deuce tiebreaker, he was pushed to the brink after dropping the third game again. He won the fourth game by a comfortable margin, but faltered again and eventually lost the final set.
With this, Shin Yubin won silver in the women’s team event and bronze in the mixed doubles, and finished with a gold medal in the women’s singles. With one more event to go, she will try to win the women’s doubles, where she is paired with Jeon Jeon-hee, in the semifinals.
Shin and Jeon are currently ranked No. 1 in the world, having finished as runners-up in the women’s doubles at the Individual World Championships in Durban, South Africa, in May. In the women’s doubles quarterfinals on Monday, they defeated the 17th-ranked pair of Chinese Taipei’s Chun Zhih-You and Huang Yi-hua 3-0 (11-9 16-14 11-5) to reach the semifinals.
However, after reaching the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles, Shin Yubin crashed out in the round of 16 of the women’s singles. Shin has been on a roll at the tournament, competing in all four events. It’s no exaggeration to say that Shin’s performance has been crucial to the success of not only the women’s team, but the entire Korean team at this tournament, so she had a killer schedule on the seventh, playing four matches in women’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. On the eighth, I played two women’s singles matches and one women’s doubles match, before finally breaking down in the last match, women’s singles.
After a bittersweet end to the women’s singles, Shin will now go all out in the women’s doubles semifinals, where she is paired with Jeon Ji-hee. Their opponents in the semifinals are China’s Sun Yingsha-Wang Yidi, who are not ranked in the world.
However, despite their unranked status due to the fact that they have rarely played doubles together, they are both world-class in singles, so it will be hard for Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee to relax. Sun Yingxia is ranked No. 1 in the world in women’s singles and Wang Yidi is ranked No. 3 in the world in women’s singles. Sun Yingxia has been paired with Wang Manyu (5th) and Wang Yidi (2nd) in women’s doubles.
If they reach the final, they will face the winner of the other semifinal between Miyu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (No. 8-Japan) and Wang Manyu and Chen Meng (No. 93-China) for the title.
Jeon Jeon-hee-Shin Yubin, who won the women’s doubles title at the 2021 Doha Games, where China did not compete, will be looking to win their second consecutive title. The women’s doubles semifinals and final will be played on back-to-back days.
In men’s doubles, the world No. 1 pair of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon and Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun reached the semifinals side by side to secure two bronze medals.
Both will face the Chinese in the semifinals.
The Korean men’s doubles team of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon, who won a silver medal at the World Championships in May, will face Marung-Wang Chu-chin, while Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun, who are returning to the tournament, will face Fan Zhen-dong and Ling Gaoyuan.
China’s men’s doubles team has no doubles ranking, but they are all top-ranked singles players, ranked in the top eight in the world, so many analysts believe that the South Korean pair’s chances of winning a gold medal are quite uncertain. Marung, who is still going strong after being born in 1988, is ranked third in the world in singles. Wang Chuchin is ranked second in the world, while Fan Zhenndong is ranked first and Lin Gaoyuan is ranked eighth.
Both the men’s doubles semifinals and final will be played on Day 9.
The pair of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon advanced to the semifinals with a dramatic 3-2 (10-12 6-11 11-8 11-8 11-4) win over Iranian pair Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamian (ranked 24th) in the quarterfinals. Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon were down 2 games to none against the Alamian brothers’ unorthodox attack.
They were down 3-7 in the third game, but adjusted to their opponent’s pitches late in the game and made a great comeback. Ahn Jae-hyun and Park Kang-hyun defeated Japan’s Hiroto Shinozuka and Yuta Tanaka 3-1 (11-8 5-11 13-11 11-8) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Korea Table Tennis won silver in the women’s team event, bronze in the men’s team event and bronze in the mixed doubles event. They reached the semifinals in the men’s and women’s doubles to secure at least three bronze medals, all of which came against Great Wall China in their quest for gold 메이저놀이터.
The Chinese, who missed the Doha Games two years ago due to COVID-19, sent all of their top players to the Asian Championships, winning the men’s team, women’s team, and mixed doubles gold medals in the earlier events. Japan, who shocked the world by beating China to gold in mixed doubles at the last Tokyo Olympics, will be without their top players.
After the Asian Championships, the three nations will meet again for medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin on Feb. 22.