Unified Korea lose in historic table tennis world championship semis

April FrancisMay 07, 2018

The draw pit North Korea against South Korea in the quarter-finals of the women's world championship, and was scheduled to play today, but before the start of the representatives of the teams told the referees not to want to play against each other during the confrontation.

Taking the opportunity to promote peace between the two nations, they made a decision to form a unified team and take on Japan.

The nations, who were due to face each other in Thursday's quarter-finals, chose to instead form a unified team for the last-four match in Sweden.

According to the ITTF website, it is the first time the two Koreas have formed a joint table tennis team since the 1991 world championships in Chiba, when the unified team won the women's championship. The North and South Korean women's hockey teams combined during the recent 2018 Winter Olympics in PeyongChang, South Korea. The team was to play Japan on Friday.

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"But there's no disadvantage to the teams before and we informed all the (other) teams and they agreed. we all feel happy that we have a small sign in the process of the reunion of Korea". It is not, however, the first time the two nations have competed as one. "I think it's worth it".

Ichiro Hoshino, executive director of the Japan Table Tennis Association, said he understood the decision but also expressed confusion. Hyun Jung-hwa of South Korea and Li Bun-hui of North teamed up to win against crowd favourites China. And since there is no third-place match, the two losers of the semifinals will each get a bronze medal.

It was a transfer authorised by organizers, with Thomas Weikert, president of the game's governing physique, ITTF, telling reporters: "Once I knowledgeable the board of administrators about this growth, the unified workforce obtained a standing ovation from the delegation and confirmed their signal of assist to this historic transfer".

Talks for joint Korean teams at the Asian Games gained traction last week following the inter-Korean summit.

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