Korea adds more golds on final day of Asian Championships

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Korea adds more golds on final day of Asian Championships

Lee Sang-su poses during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final against Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

Lee Sang-su poses during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final against Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

 
Lee Sang-su won the men's singles gold medal at the 2021 Asian Table Tennis Championship in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, with Shin Yu-bin and Jeon Ji-hee also winning the women's doubles.  
 
Lee is the first Korean to win the men’s singles title at the Asian Championship. Lee defeated Shunsuke Togami of Japan after conceding just the first set and winning the next three sets straight to reach the men’s singles finals to face Chuang Chih-yuan of Taiwan in the gold medal match.  
 
Lee Sang-su celebrates after the men's singles final against Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

Lee Sang-su celebrates after the men's singles final against Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

 
Lee fought hard but conceded the first set 12-10. He then took the next two sets fairly easily, both 11-6.
 
But Chuang once again leveled the score, taking away the fifth set 11-7 and pushing the match into a fifth set. Lee was the one to emerge victorious after taking the fifth set 11-8, taking his second gold medal of the event after winning the men's team gold medal on Friday.
 
Korea has reached the men’s singles final four times in 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2017, but was defeated by China on all four occasions. Korea's success this year comes as China, which has won the Asian Championships 11 times in a row, decided not to compete due to Covid-19.
 
Shin Yu-bin, left, and Jeon Ji-hee pose on the podium during the award ceremony of the women's doubles final against Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching of China's Hong Kong at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

Shin Yu-bin, left, and Jeon Ji-hee pose on the podium during the award ceremony of the women's doubles final against Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching of China's Hong Kong at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships Doha in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday. [XINHUA/YONHAP]

 
Just before Lee's match, Shin and Jeon reached the women's doubles finals, the first Korean pair to do so in 12 years, since Kim Kyung-ah and Park Mi-young lost to Ding Ning and Xiaoxia Li of China in 2009. 
 
Shin and Jeon's gold medal is Korea’s first in the event in 21 years since Lee Eun-sil and Seok Eun-mi won in 2000. They defeated Miyu Nagasaki and Ando Minami of Japan in three straight sets in the semifinals to reach the gold medal match.
 
In the finals, the Korean duo faced Hoi Kem Doo and Ho Ching Lee of Hong Kong. Jeon and Shin won the first set 11-5 but the Hong Kong duo leveled the match by winning the second set. Shin and Jeon seemed to have figured out the opponent in the last two sets, winning them 11-3, 11-4 and clinching victory.
 
Before the women’s double events, Korea defeated Thailand in the women’s team quarterfinals in straight sets, then beat Singapore in straight sets in the semifinals, before losing to Japan in the finals. Then Shin won her first ever individual silver medal at an international event on Monday.
 
Korea won a total of three gold, four silver and a bronze medal at the 2021 Asian Championships.  

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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