’21 years in the making’ Shin Yubin-Jeon Hee win women’s table tennis doubles gold…4-1 victory over North and South Korea
Shin Yoo-bin and Jeon Jeon-hee did it.
South Korean table tennis has won its first gold medal at the Asian Games in 21 years. Women’s table tennis hopeful Shin Yoo-bin and longtime national team member Jeon Jeon-hee won the women’s doubles match to top the podium.
The world No. 1 pair of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee defeated North Korea’s Cha Sooyoung and Park Soo-kyong with a game score of 4-1 (11-6 11-4 10-12 12-10 11-3) in the women’s doubles final at the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Gungshu Canal Sports Park Gymnasium (GSP Gymnasium) in Hangzhou, China on Tuesday.
South Korea has won a total of 10 gold medals at the Asian Games since Kim Chung-yong won the men’s singles gold at Bangkok 1966 and the men’s doubles team of Choo Kyo-sung and Lee Chul-seung and the women’s doubles team of Lee Eun-sil and Suk-mi at Busan 2002, but hasn’t won a single gold medal in more than two decades due to the high barriers set by China. Shin Yubin, who missed last year’s Asian Games with a wrist injury, used the one-year postponement as an opportunity to prepare for this year’s women’s doubles with Jeon Jeon-hee, and it paid off.
The pair of Cha Sooyoung and Park Soo Kyong are North Korean table tennis’s return to the Asian Games in Hangzhou after a nearly four-year absence from international competition due to COVID-19. Despite not having a world ranking, they made a splash in the semifinals, defeating India’s Sutheertha Mukherjee and Aihika Mukherjee in straight games, 4-3, before falling to the runners-up team of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee.
In the women’s doubles, the world’s top-ranked Chinese pair fell in the quarterfinals to help Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee win the title. Sun Yingxia and Wang Manyu lost to Miwa Harimoto and Miyu Kihara with a game score of 1-3, while Chen Meng and Wang Yidi lost to Sutirtha Mukherjee and Aihika Mukherjee with a game score of 1-3. Meanwhile, the World No. 1 pair of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee cruised to victory and the gold medal.
In what could have been a tense North-South matchup, Shin and Jeon used their superior skill and experience to push forward from game one, winning easily 11-6. Under the onslaught of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee, Cha Sooyoung and Park Soo-kyung self-destructed with an unforced error at the end of game one.
The struggling Cha Soo-soong-Park Soo-kyung duo took the lead early in game three with a strong drive from Cha Soo-soong. The North Korean bench reprimanded the duo for being “out of rhythm” and ordered them to take a break. Shin Yoo-bin and Jeon Jeon-hee fought back to take a 10-8 lead, but then lost four straight points to fall behind 10-12 and lose the game 2-1.
In game four, Cha Soo-soo poked from all corners of the table, but Shin Yubin-Jeon-hee refused to back down, taking advantage of opportunities and attacking as their opponents persevered. Every time Cha Sooyoung-Park Soo Kyung rang a point, the Chinese crowd, noticing the absence of the Chinese players, chanted “Chayo” and cheered for North Korea. Shin Yoo-bin and Jeon Jeon-hee led 9-5 and were down to 10-10 deuce when their opponent’s bombshell went “bang” and they took the fourth game 12-10 and came close to winning the match.
North Korea came into the fifth game with a dejected look on their faces, and Shin Yubin-Jeon Hee capitalized on their opponents’ mental state. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, they easily won game five 11-3 to claim the coveted gold medal. After their victory, Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee performed a Korean flag ceremony and laughed out loud in front of the Chinese crowd, which was lopsidedly in favor of North Korea.
Shin won medals in all four events she competed in at the tournament, proving that she is the next big thing in Korean table tennis. Her three bronze medals were followed by a gold to make the tournament even more special. Shin Yubin, who was in tears after losing both the first and fourth singles to Japan in the women’s team event semifinals, teamed up with Lim Jong-hoon to win a bronze medal in the mixed doubles against the Chinese.
“I want to put the best medal on the shelf,” said Xin, who also won a third bronze medal in the women’s singles semifinals on Day 1, when she was unable to win a game against world No. 1 Sun Yingxia, leaving her with a 0-4 game score. 스포츠토토
Jeon Jeon-hee, who was born in 1992 in China’s Hebei province and naturalized in South Korea in 2011, added a gold medal to her five bronze medals at the Asian Games.
The gold medal for the pair of Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee concluded the Korean table tennis team’s Asian Games journey. The Korean men’s team won silver and the women’s team won bronze in the team event, and the men’s doubles team of Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon added another silver medal. The team finished the Hangzhou Asian Games with 1 gold, 2 silver, and 5 bronze medals, including the men’s singles Jang Woo-jin, women’s singles Shin Yubin, mixed doubles Lim Jong-hoon-Shin Yubin, and mixed doubles Jang Woo-jin-Jeon Jeon-hee.