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Spanish Open: Oh Sang Eun Beats Local Hero

ITTF Press Release

Korea’s Oh Sang Eun won the Men’s Singles title at the Spanish Open in Almeria on Sunday 10th April 2011 to collect the seventh ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles crown of his career.

Furthermore, in so doing thwarted local hopes. In the final he beat Vladimir Samsonov, the no.1 seed; born and bred in Belarus, but now resident in Granada, a three hour drive from Almeria.

Oh Sang Eun, the no.4 seed, comnined a stylish display of attacking excellence with clear determination, to overcome Vladimir Samsonov in six games. He won 11-9, 17-15, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10.

Fourth Title
The meeting in Almeria was the eight in world ranking events between Vladimir Samsonov and Oh Sang Eun with the man from Belarus being in the ascendancy.

He had won five of the previous seven duels but arguably he had lost the most important; he was beaten by Oh Sang Eun in their round of the last sixteen contest at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships in Shanghai in 2005.

Oh Sang Eun progressed to the semi-finals and left with a bronze medal.

High Skill Level
Oh Sang Eun, showing great skill over the table, especially in the art of executing a forehand flick toward the backhand of Vladimir Samsonov, won a close first game.

Amazing Game
In the second game Vladimir Samsonov established a lead in the early stages and at 10-5 held five game points; incredibly he lost the next six points to trail 10-11.

He levelled but he could not clinch the game; after being required to save game point on three occasions he suffered. Oh Sang Eun won the game 17-15 and was two games to nil ahead.

A close contest combined with superb rallies, entertaining table tennis, it was delighting the crowd.

No Mistake this Time
Win a close game and confidence blossoms; you proceed to win the next game in style; so much for that theory!

Vladimir Samsonov went ahead 8-1 in the third game; Oh Sang Eun recovered but at 10-5, the man from Belarus held five game points

It was just as in the previous game, only this time he did not let the advantage slip; he won the game at the first attempt and reduced the match arrears to one.

Immediate Reply
Immediately Oh Sang Eun responded; he raced into an early lead in the fourth game before Vladimir Samsonov mounted a recovery.

Leading 9-6, Yoo Nam Kyu, the recently appointed Head Coach of the Korean Men’s team, called “Time Out”; clearly he saw danger signs looming.

It proved a wise move; Oh Sang Eun won the next two points.

The Korean was three games to one ahead.

Time Out in Vain
In the fifth game Vladimir Samsonov established a lead, Oh Sang Eun reduced the arrears to 8-9; the Belarus camp called “Time Out”.

Oh Sang Eun sought advice from Yoo Nam Kyu; he won the next two points to hold match point at 10-9.

Converted at Second Attempt
Vladimir Samsonov saved the match point but at 11-10, Oh Sang Eun had a second chance; this time he converted.

It was gold for Korea, silver for Belarus.

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