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Table Tennis: Korea’s Jang downs China’s finest to win World Juniors in Morocco

Korea’s Jang Woo-jin beat three of China’s top young stars to win the boys’ singles titles at the ITTF World Junior Championships. Photo by Remy Gros / ITTF.

Korea’s Jang Woo-jin beat three of China’s top young stars to win the boys’ singles titles at the ITTF World Junior Championships in Rabat. Photo by Remy Gros / ITTF.

December 9, 2013: Korean Jang Woo-jin provided one of the shocks of the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Morocco by winning the boys’ singles competition.

 

The 18-year-old became only the second Korean to win the junior crown by sensationally beating Zhou Kai 4-1 (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 16-14, 11-4) in the final at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, having earlier beaten two of Zhou’s two compatriots from China’s gold-medal winning team.

 

“I am very proud to be the second Korean to win this prestigious title. I have always wanted to be like Jeong Sang-eun, who won in 2007,” said Jang, whose earlier titles included the 2010 ITTF World Cadet Challenge.

 

“I can’t believe I was able to beat all the strong Chinese players. It’s a dream come true. This is a great stepping stone for my career.”

 

China’s Gu Yuting, the 2010 Youth Olympic Games champion, won the girls’ singles crown in her fifth and final attempt, beating teammate Liu Gaoyang 4-3 (11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8) in the final.

 

“Before the final, I was very excited,” Gu said. “However, I was also scared since it was my last chance to win become World Junior champion. For this reason, I was determined to win. I needed to win and I’m so happy I did.”

 

Gu, 18, also won the girls’ doubles title for a record fifth straight time, partnering with Liu Xi to defeat compatriots Wang Manyu and Liu Gaoyang 4-1 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9).

 

However, Gu did lose in the mixed doubles final with partner Zhou Qihao, as compatriots Kong Lingxuan and Liu Xi eventually prevailed 4-3 (8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7).

 

In the boys’ doubles final, Chinese duo Kong Lingxuan and Zhou Qihao survived a tough match with singles champion Jang and Korean teammate Park Chan-hyeok, winning 4-2 (10-13, 11-9, 15-13, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7).

 

The clean sweep of the doubles titles capped off a successful World Junior Championships for China, after they won both the boys’ and girls’ team titles earlier in the week.

 

The next ITTF event is the GAC Group 2013 World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai on January 9-12, 2014.

 

ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championship, Morocco

 

Boys’ singles final:

JANG Woo-jin (KOR) def ZHOU Kai (CHN) 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 16-14, 11-4

Girls’ singles final:

GU Yuting (CHN) def LIU Gaoyang (CHN) 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8

Boys’ doubles final:

KONG Lingxuan (CHN) / ZHOU Qihao (CHN) def JANG Woo-jin (KOR) / PARK Chan-hyeok (KOR) 10-13, 11-9, 15-13, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7

Girls’ doubles final:

GU Yuting (CHN) / LIU Xi (CHN) def WANG Manyu (CHN) / LIU Gaoyang (CHN) 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9

Mixed doubles final:

KONG Lingxuan (CHN) / LIU Xi (CHN) def GU Yuting (CHN) / ZHOU Qihao (CHN) 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7

 

Source: ITTF

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