North Korean table tennis secures bronze in women’s doubles as China fails to complete gold sweep

North Korean table tennis has secured a bronze medal in the women’s doubles event at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.

North Korea’s Cha Soo-yong and Park Soo-kyong (unranked) defeated Hong Kong’s world number six Du Hoik-kem and Zhu Cheng-ju 3-2 (12-10 8-11 6-11 11-6 11-8) in the women’s doubles quarter-finals at the Archer Canal Sports Park Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday.

At the Asian Games, table tennis does not play a third-place match and awards bronze medals to both semi-final losers.

North Korean table tennis thus won its second consecutive women’s doubles medal after the 2014 Incheon Games, when the team of Kim Kim Hye Sung won bronze.

There was no men’s or women’s doubles competition at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games.

North Korean table tennis returned to the international scene after a three-year absence, and the team’s medals were a welcome return to form.

The North Korean team is currently without a medal in the individual competition.

Based on their performance in the women’s team event, Kim Geum Yong and Byun Song Kyong (unranked) appeared to be the North’s leading doubles pair, but they were eliminated in the round of 16 by South Korea’s Jeon Jeon Hee (Mirae Asset Securities) and Shin Yoo Bin (Korean Air).

Cha Sooyoung-Park Soo Kyung will face 16th-ranked Sutirtha Mukherjee-Aihika Mukherjee (India), who pulled off an upset to defeat China’s world number two pair of Chen Meng-Wang Yidi 3-1 (11-5 11-5 5-11 11-9).

China’s Sun Yingxia-Wang Yidi (37th) were also knocked out in the quarter-finals by Japan’s Miwa Harimoto-Miyu Kihara (33rd), meaning there will be no Chinese pairing in the women’s doubles quarter-finals at the Games.

It is the first time in 57 years since the 1966 Bangkok Games that the women’s doubles quarter-finals have been played without China.

It also ended China’s hopes of winning seven gold medals at the Games on home soil. 안전놀이터

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