TOKYO, Aug 03 (Yonhap) – Young table tennis player Shin Yu-bin tearfully bid farewell to her first Olympics on Tuesday after South Korea eliminated from the women’s team event in Tokyo.
South Korea lost to Germany 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the team competition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in the Japanese capital on Tuesday.
Shin and Jeon Ji-hee won their first doubles match against Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Soja 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3).
The two countries traded the next two singles matches, with South Korea leading the overall score by 2-1.
Shin, 17, qualified for her singles match against Han Ying, with a chance to send South Korea to the semi-finals.
Instead, Han beat Shin 3-1 (11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9) to bring Germany back to a tie. Shan then closed the win by beating Choi Hyo-joo 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-9) in the final singles match.
Choi led 9-6 in Game 3 before Shan came back with five consecutive points for the win.
“I realized how much work I still have to do,” Shin said, swallowing back tears. “I should have won my singles match today. My teammates set the stage and I’m sorry I couldn’t do it.”
The elimination of the women’s team made the men’s team South Korea’s last remaining medal hope in table tennis. The Lee Sang-su, Jeoung Young-sik and Jang Woo-jin trio will play in the semi-finals against China on Wednesday.
The women’s team event was added to the 2008 Olympics. South Korea won bronze that year, but hasn’t reached the podium since.
Shin had started early in the singles competition earlier in the Olympics. South Korea also failed to win medals in men’s singles or mixed doubles.
Shin said that going up against opponents who all played different styles of table tennis could only help him in the future.
“I would like to build on that experience and try to play better in the future,” Shin said.