Korean Open: Experience Counts

OH Sang Eun wins Men's Singles

ITTF Press Release

The final of the Menís Singles event at the Volkswagen Open Korea saw two home based players in action, players of a similar style but not the style that has brought such great success to the Asian country over the years.

It was third seed OH Sang Eun versus fourteenth seed LIM Jae Hyun.

Both are shakehands grip players, both are right handers, both are attackers and both are equally comfortable attacking from either backhand or forehand.

Former Champions
They are not in the mould of those who are now the coaches on duty for the Korean national team, HYUN Jung Hwa, YOO Nam Kyu and KIM Taek Soo; all those three great players were of traditional style, penhold grip, superb footwork and forehands that drilled holes in the court surrounds.

All three gained incredible success internationally, in 1993 HYUN Jung Hwa won the Womenís Singles event at the World Championships in Gothenburg, the last non Chinese player to win the title; YOO Nam Kyu was the first ever Menís Singles Olympic champion when he won in Seoul in 1988 whilst KIM Taek Soo was the bronze medallist in both Menís Singles and Menís Doubles at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992.

Changing Times
Perhaps the styles on show in the final in Suncheon were not in the traditional mode; thery reflect the fact that Korea now has a growing number of shakehands grip players and a variety of styles. There has in past decade clearly been a change in thinking.

Top spin exchanges were the order of the day between OH sang Eun and LIM Jae Hyun but quite simply the former was too experienced, he won the first three games in some style and was repeating the form that he had displayed in Shanghai a month ago when he won the bronze medal in the Menís Singles event at the World Championships in Shanghai.

Took Control
In the fourth game, the players stood level at 4-all, the stage at which OH Sang Eun took control. He moved smoothly to win the next four points before his opponent replied; LIM Jae Hyun kept trying, he kept fighting, he never gave up but whatever he could do, OH Sang Eun could do better.

LIM Jae Hyun reduced the arrears to 8-6 but there was no fairy tale comeback; OH Sang Eun re-asserted himself on proceedings, won the game 11-7 and for the first time in his career was the Menís Singles champion at an ITTF Pro Tour event.

He could smile and so could LIM Jae Hyun, it had been a splendid effort.

OH Sang Eun won 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7

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