Oh Sangeun doubles to number
Prior 2005, Korea Republic’s Oh Sangeun, despite many attempts, had never won a men’s singles title on what in those days was known as the ITTF Pro Tour, now the ITTF World Tour.
In June of that year he won on home soil in Suncheon; then as a result of his journey to Latin America, on Sunday 3rd July he doubled his account. He emerged successful in the Chilean capital city of Santiago.
Moreover, on foreign soil, he went one better; in Suncheon partnering Choi Hyunjin, it had been a quarter-final exit at the hands of colleagues Lee Jungwoo and Ryu Seungmin (11-7, 10-12, 3-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3), the eventual winners. In Santiago, the left handed pen-holder, Lee Jungwoo, was on the same side of the table as Oh Sangeun; the outcome gold.
Impressively, the duo secured the men’s doubles title without being extended the full seven games distance. At the quarter-final stage they beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Marcos Freitas (11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7), before ousting colleague Cho Eonrae who partnered the latter duo’s João Monteiro (11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
Most imposing performances, in the final it was very similar, just one game was surrendered; in clinical fashion, they beat the combination of Germany’s Peter Franz and Hungary’s Janos Jakab (11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8).
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles progressed to the quarter-finals where he experienced the toughest match of his march to gold. He was required to recover from a three games to nil deficit to beat Slovakia’s Peter Sereda (10-12, 8-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-1, 11-5).
A semi-final place book, Oh Sangeun confronted Johan Axelqvist, the Swede enjoying his best such tournament ever, notably beating Korea Republic’s Jo Ji Hoon in seven games at the quarter-final stage (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 11-2). Facing Oh Sangeun, it was a different story, the young Swede was beaten in straight games (11-7, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4.
"I just played badly ", said Johan Axelqvist. “He was too good; if I'm to compete at this level then I need to face players of this standard more often."
In the final Oh Sangeun faced Germany's Peter Franz who was in his second consecutive ITTF World Tour men's singles final, having the previous week finished in runners up spot in Brazil. It was to be the same outcome in Chile; after recording a penultimate round against Jean-Michel Saive (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3), he was beaten by Oh Sangeun (5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4).
Success for the Korea Republic in the men’s singles event, in the under 21 men’s singles it was just the same.
Cho Eonrae emerged the victor; at the semi-final stage he overcame Johan Axelqvist (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 12-1), prior to securing the title at the expense of Peter Sereda (11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-5).