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Resurrecting fortunes, the challenge for Korea Republic

Monday 05 April

A proud record, gold, silver and bronze in the collection but for the female players from the Korea Republic, since Beijing in 2008, the cupboard has been bare.

Thanks to the efforts of Choi Hyojoo, Lee Eunhye and Shin Yubin at the Team Qualification Tournament staged some 14 months ago in Gondomar, Portugal, the east Asian country maintains its 100 per cent Olympic Games attendance record.

The task is to resurrect fortunes.

Medals at the first six Olympic Games set a very high standard; Hyun Junghwa being very much the player who set the example, she became an icon, the one to whom others aspired. Crowned world champion in 1993 in Gothenburg, on home soil at the 1988 Olympic Games, she partnered Yang Youngja to women’s doubles gold. Four years later in Barcelona, alongside Hong Chaok it was bronze.

Third place on the women’s doubles podium, it was the same in 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney for Ryu Jihye; at the former partnering Park Haejung, the latter in harness with Kim Mookyo.

Four years later in Athens, Lee Eunsil and Seok Eunmi combined to secured women’s doubles, Kim Kyungah used her defensive skills to the full to gain women’s singles bronze.

The third step of the podium for Kim Kyungah in the Greek capital city, the outcome was the same in China’s capital; lining up alongside Dang Yeseo and Park Miyoung, bronze women’s team bronze was gained.

It is in those footsteps that current generation treads, a testing time awaits in Tokyo; unquestionably gaining a podium finish would more match the efforts of predecessors.

A medal is a daunting task, but should the goal be more long term? Could Tokyo prove a valuable learning experience for Paris in 2024 and beyond?

Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin, proving a most accomplished doubles partnership

Editor: Ian Marshall

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