May 27, 2018

A unified Korean table tennis team to compete in Sweden Video

07 May 2018, 12:26 | Simon Arnold

North and South Korea combine teams rather than play each other at table tennis worlds

Oshima Yuya of Japan returns to Beh Kun Ting of Singapore at the fifth round of Men's group match during the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad Sweden

North and South Korea had been expected to play each other in the quarterfinals of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, but instead of heading head-to-head made a decision to develop a unified team.

The KTTA said it would like to see both Koreas retain their allotted roster spots- two players for each the men's and women's singles, two teams each in the mixed doubles and five players in the team event, even if they combine their teams.

Segun Toriola has expressed his disappointment over Nigeria's Table Tennis team failure to clinch a spot in the Championship division at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Sweden. Yesterday's match marked the first time North and South Korea competed as one team since the 1991 tournament in Chiba, Japan.

Kim Song I, of North Korea, fared better in the second match but lost 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 16-14 to Japan's strongest player, Kasumi Ishikawa.

In the semifinals, the Korea team will play the victor of the quarterfinal between Ukraine and Japan.

The two Korean women's teams were slated to meet in the quarterfinals, but after consulting with the International Table Tennis Federation, the two delegations chose to form a united team, which automatically advanced to the semifinals. Hyun Jung-hwa of South Korea and Li Bun-hui of North teamed up to win against crowd favourites China. Sports is indeed a great leveler and the unified team for table tennis is in keeping with the sentiments expressed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in during their meeting.

Suh shared that she saw a movie about the united team and now, it felt a bit odd.

"I think the joint team (in women's hockey) at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics delivered a powerful message about peace", Ryu said.

Table tennis also has a history in diplomacy. In the 1970s the Nixon administration helped open the door to relations between Communist China and the USA with a series of games between the two countries. "When I informed the Board of Directors about this development, the Unified Team received a standing ovation from the delegates who showed their sign of support for this historic move", he was quoted as saying by

ITTF President Thomas Weikert called putting the two Korean teams together was a "historic" occasion celebrated by other participating nations.

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