Table tennis: Japan women defeat Korea to advance to team worlds finals

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The two Koreas fielded a combined team after they decided not to compete against each other in the quarter-finals.

The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea opted against playing each other at the world table tennis championships on Thursday, deciding instead to field a joint women's team for the semi-finals.

"Until now, table tennis has been involved in the push for world peace, and this is the fruit of that effort", said Ichiro Hoshino, the executive director of the Japan Table Tennis Association. The Korean city of Busan has acquired the rights to host 2020 World Team Championships following the withdrawal of rival bids from Ekaterinburg, Russia and the United States city of San Jose.

Kim Song-i, victor of a bronze medal for North Korea at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, said: "I also saw this video and I was surprised about the power of the united team". We really concentrate on our game - we will do what we want to do.

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Earlier some of the ladies of the historic team had expressed their elation over the unification and were excited to work together and create a stronger unit. Suh Hyo-won, the captain of the South Korea team, said, "We'll surely win the semifinal match by joining forces". "And so I still can't believe we have the joint team on our hand". I feel a little bit unusual that I'm in the united team now, and I hope we can make something like it was in the movie. My Executive Committee and I are very happy with the key decisions made by the AGM. "Like who knew back then that they could beat China at that time", she said.

"I also saw this video and the power of the united team".

For the first time in 11 decades, athletes in North and South Korea walked in unison at the starting ceremony of an Olympic Games, while it had been at the PyongChang online games, dubbed the "Peace Olympics", the unified women's hockey workforce created its Olympic debut.

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