Incheon, Oct 3, 2014: The North Korea pair of KIM Hyok Bong & KIM Jong who are the reigning Mixed Doubles World Champions, outclassed their Hong Kong opponents of JIANG Tianyi and LEE Ho Ching 12-10, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 to add the Asian Games gold to their World Championships gold.
The right and left handed competition were cheered on loudly by the local South Korean public who were shouting out “We Are…”, and the North Korea contingent replying “…One” in a sign of unity between the people of the two countries.
So emotional was the win, both players were crying on the podium, when their national anthem was played in the stadium, the same as they did at the 2013 World Championships. When asked about this, KIM Hyok Bong replied: “In 2013 when we became World Champions, we got a lot of love from our people and we were very thankful. We wanted to win the gold medal here again to get the feeling of love from our people again, as well as repay them for all the support that they have given us, which made us very emotional.”
The bronze medals went to the losing semi-finalists: Kim Minseok / Jeon Jihee (KOR) and Seiya KISHIKAWA / Ai FUKUHARA (JPN).
Olympic and World Champion ZHANG Jike paired up with his Chinese team mate MA Long to claim the Men’s Doubles gold medal.
The pair, which fans have been calling the “dream team” were too fast and too strong for their fellow Chinese opponents 17 year old FAN Zhendong and XU Xin winning 14-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6.
MA Long, the captain of the Chinese team stated after the match: “This match was the probably the best match Jike and I have ever played. Throughout the match, we were in cohesion and communicated well.
As the captain of the Chinese team, there is a responsibility for me to bring the team together and also cheer for each and every one of them. It also motivates me to perform and deal with stress better.”
GAO Ning / LI Hu (SIN) and Kenta MATSUDAIRA / Koki NIWA (JPN) claimed the bronze medals.
China’s CHEN Meng & ZHU Yuling were crowned the Women’s Doubles champions after they beat the favourites for gold, their Chinese team mates LIU Shiwen & WU Yang 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10.
After receiving their prized gold medal, ZHU Yuling, who will be competing in the Women’s singles semi-final tomorrow stated: “In the third game, I made some unnecessary mistakes because I was anxious. We then adjusted our strategies quickly to deal with our opponents combining attacking and chopping. This is the 2nd year that we are playing together, so we are able to adjust very quickly. We are very happy with his important gold medal for our country.”
Bronze went to LEE Ho Ching / NG Wing Nam (HKG) and KIM Jong / KIM Hye Song (PRK).
Tomorrow is the last day of the 2014 Asian Games Table Tennis event with the Men’s and Women’s singles semi-final and final taking place. —- ITTF
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