“We will follow in the footsteps of our seniors Yoo Seung-min and Kim Taek-soo.”
After winning the first ever back-to-back silver medals at the World Championships, Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon vowed to follow in the footsteps of their seniors.
The pair lost the men’s doubles final of the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships at the Durban International Convention Center (DICC) in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday night (KST) with a score of 0-3 (11-13. 6-11, 5-11).
Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon defeated veteran aces Dmitry Ovcharov and Patrik-Franziska Jo (GER) to reach the final. This is the first back-to-back finals appearance for the pair, following their silver medal in Houston in 2021. After defeating Lee Sang-soo and Cho Dae-sung, 3-1, in the semifinals, they faced the world number one pair of Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin (CHN) for their first ever title. They fought hard against the event’s men’s singles finalists, but once again came up just short.
They led 7-3 in game one, but dropped a deuce game to fall 11-13. They dropped the second game 6-11 and the third game 5-11 to clinch their second consecutive silver medal with a game score of 0-3.
“I’m very disappointed that I didn’t win the gold medal I wanted,” said Jang Woo-jin after the match, “but I think it was an opportunity for me to mature and develop further.” “It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t change the color of my medal,” said Lim Jong-hoon, “but I’m happy that I overcame many obstacles and I’m grateful to (Jang) Woo Jin-hyung.”
“I feel honored because it gives me pride and makes me a part of history,” said Jang Woo-jin, who became the first Korean men’s doubles team to win back-to-back silver medals. “I feel honored because it proves that we are doing our best to catch up with our seniors like Yoo Seung-min and Kim Taek-soo, even though our performance is lower than theirs, and I will try to follow their path.” “I may be disappointed (with the silver medal) now, but when I stop playing table tennis and look back, I will think, ‘I did well,'” said Lim Jong-hoon, adding, “I trained a lot, so it’s a little more valuable.”
There are more major tournaments to come, including the Pyeongchang Asian Championships and Hangzhou Asian Games in September, the team event at the World Table Tennis Championships in Busan next year and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. “I felt a lot of ‘China is China’ in the final, and I also felt a lot of disappointment because I practiced a lot to win this title,” Zhang said. “Whether it’s the Asian Championships or the Asian Games, I think I’ll have to make a lot of effort to win gold in doubles this year.”안전놀이터
“Next time, I think I will train a lot to be one step ahead,” said Lim Jong-hoon, adding, “When I look back on my life and ask myself, ‘Did I play the table tennis I wanted and achieve the results I wanted,’ I want to live a life without regrets, so I want to make efforts and prepare without regrets.”