South Korean table tennis player Jang Woo-jin becomes first-ever triple champion


Spectators in Daejeon witnessed an astonishing
final day at the 2018 International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Korea Open on
Sunday,… featuring the crowning of a triple gold medalist for the first time in its history. On top of that, the tournament has strengthened
the legacy of sports diplomacy between the two Koreas,… raising hope that sport can
play a positive role in thawing ties between the two Koreas. Won Jung-hwan reports. South Korean table tennis player Jang Woo-jin
had himself quite a weekend,… becoming the first-ever triple champion in the Korea Open’s
18-year history. Cheered on by over six-thousand fans packed
into the Chungmu gymnasium in Deajeon, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul,… Jang defeated
Liang Jingkun of China 4-0 in Sunday’s men’s singles final. Before the men’s singles final, Jang had already
basked in gold medal glory in the mixed doubles with North Korean player Cha Hyo-sim and in
the men’s doubles with Lim Jong-hoon. Of his three gold medals,… Jang said the
mixed doubles title with Cha meant the most to him,… explaining it was a once-in-a-lifetime
gold medal that will go down in history. The united Korean pair overcame all odds to
be crowned mixed doubles champions beating a Chinese duo 3-1 on Saturday. It was the Koreas’ first combined title in
international table tennis since they won the women’s team gold medal at the 1991 World
Championships in Japan. The unification of four Korean teams was part
of the tournament’s Ping Pong Diplomacy program to support solidarity through table tennis,…
following the recent basketball diplomacy that helped expand sports exchanges earlier
this month. But the unified team’s gold-medal winning
performance serves as a massive boost for the two countries’ preparations ahead of the
upcoming inter-Korean sporting exchanges at the 2018 Asian Games in August. South and North Korea have agreed to field
joint teams in three sports including women’s basketball, dragon boat racing and rowing
in Jakarta. The 16 North Korean players who between them
won two golds and two bronzes at the Korea Open will return to the North on Monday. President Moon Jae-in released a congratulatory
message on Sunday, saying the two Koreas had become one again through sports and the victory
shows how strong the South and North can be when they work together. Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.

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