Shin Yubin, Lim Jong-hoon lose to world No. 2 Japan to miss out on mixed doubles medal at Worlds

The seventh-ranked pair of Shin Yubin (Korean Air) and Lim Jong-hoon (KEPCO) were denied a medal at the World Championships after losing to Korea.

Shin Yubin and Lim Jong-hoon lost 0-3 (8-11 5-11 6-11) to Japan’s Hina Hayata and Tomokazu Harimoto in the mixed doubles quarterfinals on the fifth day of the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Individual World Championships in Durban, South Africa.

With the loss, Korea failed to win a medal in mixed doubles, a strategic event, as both pairs were eliminated.

Earlier, Kim Na-young (POSCO International)-Jo Dae-sung (Samsung Life), ranked 47th, fell 0-3 (11-13 5-11 6-11) in the round of 16 to Kwai Man-Lin Shidong 토토사이트 (ranked 5th), a team composed of China’s next generation of aces.

The pair of Shin Yubin and Lim Jong-hoon have been on the rise on the World Table Tennis (WTT) stage, combining for a gold medal last year and two silver medals this year, and looked to be the favorites to win a World Championship medal.

Despite their unbeaten run to the quarterfinals, the bar was set high for Hayata and Harimoto.

Hayata, along with Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Mima Ito, is one of the “two-horsepower” players in Japanese women’s table tennis.

Harimoto is recognized as the “super ace” of Japanese men’s table tennis. He is a world-class player who can hold his own against Chinese players.

Hayata and Harimoto won the mixed doubles silver medal together at the 2021 World Championships in Houston.

“It was disappointing to play against Harimoto-Hayata for the first time and not see much of what I had prepared for,” said Shin Yubin, “but regrets don’t change anything, so I will focus more on my upcoming matches.”

Both Shin Yubin and Lim Jong-hoon will continue to challenge for medals in the men’s and women’s singles and doubles.

Shin Yubin (26th) will play Giannan Yuan (18th-France) in the round of 32 women’s singles, while Lim Jong-hoon (11th) will face Lubomir Piste (86th-Slovakia) in the round of 32 men’s singles.

Earlier in the day, “veteran” Seo Hyo-won (108th-Korea Horseracing Association) became the first Korean player to reach the round of 16 in the women’s singles after defeating Adina Diakonu (59th-Romania) 4-2 (11-9 11-3 11-6 10-12 11-13 11-6).

Seo will play Korea-Japan in the round of 16. She will face the winner of the Hayata Hina (No. 10)-Nagasaki Miyu (No. 29-overall Japan) match.

“The Japanese players are not easy, but I will use all my skills and everything I have,” Seo said, adding, “This could be my last World Championship challenge, so I will do my best.”

In the men’s doubles, the 11th-ranked pair of Lee Sang-soo (Samsung Life) and Cho Dae-sung (Korea) defeated the 25th-ranked pair of Ovidiu Ionescu (Romania) and Alvaro Robles (Spain) 3-1 (13-11 16-18 11-9 11-7) to advance to the quarterfinals.

Lee and Cho will play the semifinals against Christian Karlsson-Matthias Falk (No. 7-Sweden), who won gold at the 2021 event.

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