North & South Korea to Join Forces at ITTF Korea OpenPhoto: ITTF
The North & South Korean table tennis teams will be joining forces to form unified doubles pairs to compete at the upcoming Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Shinhan Korea Open to be held from 19-22 July 2018 in Daejeon (KOR).
The news comes after the North Korean team confirmed its participation at the Korea Open under the support of the ITTF Foundation as part of its Ping Pong Diplomacy programme to promote solidarity through table tennis.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated "The ITTF is proud to support the reunification of the North and South Korean table tennis teams again at the Korean Open, after the historic unification of the teams at the World Championships in Halmstad. Table tennis has had a long history as a driver of peace, and we are happy to open a new chapter of table tennis diplomacy to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula."
This further emphasizes that the historical move that began in Halmstad was not a one-off event but the start of a long-term project to use Table Tennis as a vehicle for peace.
The North & South Korean teams will form four strong mixed associations pairs. LEE Sangsu & PAK Sin Hyok will compete as one Korean team in Men's Doubles while KIM Song I & SUH Hyowon join forces in the Women's Doubles. Meanwhile, JANG Woojin & CHA Hyo Sim and CHOE Il & YOO Eunchong will feature in the Mixed Doubles event.
The ITTF through its Foundation will look to continue this positive unified doubles pairs initiative in the upcoming ITTF World Tour events leading up to the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
The Shinhan Korea Open is the fourth Platinum event of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour with qualifications starting on 17 July 2018 and main draw action beginning on the 19th.