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(Olympics) Teen ping pong player leaves 1st Olympics emptyhanded after team's elimination

All News 15:37 August 03, 2021

TOKYO, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- Teenage table tennis player Shin Yu-bin bid a teary farewell to her first Olympics on Tuesday, following South Korea's elimination from the women's team event in Tokyo.

South Korea lost to Germany 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the team competition at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in the Japanese capital on Tuesday.

Shin and Jeon Ji-hee won their opening doubles match over Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3).

Shin Yu-bin of South Korea hits a shot against Han Ying of Germany during their singles match of the women's team table tennis quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2021. (Yonhap)

The two countries traded the next two singles matches, with South Korea leading the overall score by 2-1.

Shin, 17, stepped up for her singles match against Han Ying, with a chance to send South Korea to the semifinals.

Instead, Han beat Shin 3-1 (11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9) to bring Germany even. Shan then closed out the win by beating Choi Hyo-joo 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-9) in the final singles match.

Choi led 9-6 in the third game before Shan stormed back with five straight points for the victory.

"I realized how much more work I have to put in," Shin said, choking back on tears. "I should have won my singles match today. My teammates set the stage and I am sorry that I couldn't get it done."

The elimination for the women's team left the men's team as the last remaining South Korean medal hope in table tennis. The trio of Lee Sang-su, Jeoung Young-sik and Jang Woo-jin will play in the semifinals against China on Wednesday.

Members of the South Korean women's table tennis team react to their loss to Germany in the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2021. From left, player Jeon Ji-hee, player Shin Yu-bin, coach Choo Kyo-sung and player Choi Hyo-joo. (Yonhap)

The women's team event was added to the Olympics in 2008. South Korea won bronze that year, but hasn't reached the podium since.

Shin was gone early in the singles competition earlier in the Olympics. South Korea also failed to win medals in the men's singles or the mixed doubles.

Shin said having faced opponents who all played different styles of table tennis can only help her in the future.

"I'd like to build on this experience and try to play better in the future," Shin said.


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