It wasn’t an unusual sight to see Chinese players in all four of the men’s doubles semi-finals at the 2013 ITTF World Tour Korean Air Korean Open which concluded on Sunday 7th April, however there was something a little different about the partnerships at this tournament with numerous Chinese players choosing to partner a player from a different country.


London 2012 Olympic champion Zhang Jike joined forces with Korea’s Seo Hyundeok who at the semi-final stage overcame the partnership of China’s Xu Xin and France’s Adrian Mattenet (14-12, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7). Jike and Hyundeok then went on to defeat China’s Ma Long and Korea’s Lee Jungwoo in the final (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).

The surprising partnerships however were not the only thing different about this tournament; there was the unusual situation of players refusing to accept the $6100 prize fund. The Korean Table Tennis Association proposed that the money should be given to the Chinese players, however the Chinese Table Tennis Association were quick to respond following a recommendation from China’s head coach Liu Guoliang as they proposed to give the prize fund to Korean charities.

This generous offer however was declined as the Korean TTA insisted the money go to Chinese charities, this was finally accepted and appreciated by the Chinese TTA. A winning solution that benefited all, it is nice to see that Korea and China have a good solid friendship in the table tennis world.

For all the latest news, results and videos from the Korea Open 2013 click here. To catch up on all the latest highlighted matches from the Korea Open visit our Media Library.

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Source: ITTF
Written by: Emily Standing