Two Koreas form unified team at table tennis world championships

by Antonio Miles May 7, 2018, 0:29
Two Koreas form unified team at table tennis world championships

The two Koreas are competing as one in the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Sweden.

South Korea, who earned a bye for that round, were set to be their opponents for the last eight but the decision will now see the unified Korea take on Japan - winners over Ukraine - for a place in the final. On paper, Japan has the upper hand as it stands second in the world rankings.

A similar step such as this dates back to 1991 when North and South Korea played as a united team in the World Table Tennis Championship.

On Wednesday in Halmstad, female players from the two Koreas played an exhibition doubles match during the launching ceremony of the ITTF Foundation.

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". "This is an important statement to promote peace between our countries through Table Tennis".

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Kim Song I, who won an Olympic bronze medal for North Korea at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, came closest to scoring a point Friday, losing to her Japanese opponent in a decisive fifth game.

Throughout a historic summit in April, North and South agreed to carry talks over denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and convey a proper conclusion to the Korean Warfare, which resulted in armistice. "The ITTF's motto is 'Solidarity Through Table Tennis.' And I think the combined team fits that vision".

In 1972, a year after the so-called "ping pong diplomacy", Richard Nixon became the first US President to visit the People's Republic of China.

It has been a big year for the two Korean countries joining forces, after they made history by marching together in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games earlier in Pyongchang, which was the most significant sign of unity in worldwide sport since the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

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