North and South Korea groups unite at desk tennis world championships

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However, they approached the authorities to permit them to compete as a unified team.

The move earned a round of applause from world table tennis officials as the two teams told umpires they did not want to clash in the Thursday morning tie, against a backdrop of inter-Korean reconciliation.

Defending champion China on Friday survived the toughest battle they met since the start of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships here.

"When I informed the Board of Directors about this development, the unified team received a standing ovation from the delegates who showed their sign of support to this historic move", ITTF president Thomas Weikert said.

The Korean workforce went on to lose 3-Zero to Japan in Friday's semifinal, however the effect appeared to matter little as gamers from the 2 global locations - Kim Track I (PRK), Yang Haeun (KOR) and Jeon Jinhee (KOR) - embraced after defeat.

Ding said, "It was my first time playing Soo, and I didn't get well prepared". Sports is indeed a great leveler and the unified team for table tennis is in keeping with the sentiments expressed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in during their meeting.

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The unified team consists of nine players, five from South Korea and four from the North. "And so I still can't believe we have the joint team on our hand".

"Actually I saw a movie about the united team in 1991".

Table tennis also has a history in diplomacy. The South Korean players are: Jeon Ji-hee, Kim Ji-ho, Suh Hyo-won, Yang Ha-eun and Yoo Eun-chong.

At the Winter Olympics in February, the Koreans had fielded a joint women's hockey team and had also walked under a unified flag in the opening ceremony.

The three-woman team - two players from the south, one from the north - lost to Japan 3-0 in the semi-finals but secured the bronze medal since the event had no third-place game. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, both held in Seoul.

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