Confirmation that North and South Korea would face each other in the women’s quarter-finals at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad was met with a witty response from a colleague as news of their pending meeting filtered through to us in the office.
"I bet they join together in another unified team," he said, tongue firmly in cheek.
Little did we know it but his prediction would soon become reality only a few hours later.
Barely eight hours after an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) press release declared how the two Koreas would be involved in an "historic” encounter, another popped into my inbox which revealed they had refused to play the match and had instead formed a unified team.
The move was given the go ahead by the ITTF, with President Thomas Weikert claiming the joint Korean side "received a standing ovation from the delegates who showed their sign of support to this historic move" as the governing body confirmed they would proceed straight to the semi-finals.
Others were not so convinced. It is easy to see why.
It was the timing of the announcement rather than the gesture itself which sparked the most criticism. After all, this was a decision made during the tournament when really it should have been made before.
In the current political climate, sporting governing bodies are trying to cash-in on the recent easing of tensions between two countries technically still at war.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang showcased the clear progress made in North-South relations in recent times, culminating in a summit last week where the respective leaders reaffirmed their commitment to "complete denuclearisation" and to push towards turning the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 into a peace treaty this year.
But as my colleague Nick Butler pointed out in his piece earlier this week, the Games themselves were not the most significant factor. He was right to suggest some, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, had got a bit carried away with it all.
The ITTF are the latest to fall into that trap. Yes, there is no time like the present but to do it during the event itself suggests the organisation are merely trying to capitalise on the positive PR enjoyed by the IOC and others since the Olympics concluded at the end of February.
The decision simply cannot have been made for sporting reasons. Sport is about competition not political concessions.
In fact, the two playing against each other in a friendly yet competitive environment would still have sent the same positive message the ITTF would have hoped to display at their flagship annual tournament.
A quick glance at the responses to the ITTF’s Tweet on the unified team suggests it may have backfired. One described the move as "totally disgraceful" and a "disregard of the rules". Another called it "unbelievable".
"The World Championships are not for friendship nor politics. It’s for pure competition between players. Can’t believe you have let this go on, ITTF," wrote another member of the Twittersphere.
For balance, there were some supporting the ITTF and there does not seem to have been a backlash from players from other countries.
But even Bach, who has spoken of the "political momentum" Pyeongchang 2018 had generated, stopped short of praising the move. "I hope this decision has been taken in agreement with all the teams concerned," he said.
The essence of fairness has also been contravened by the worldwide governing body. How is it fair on the other quarter-finalists that the two Koreas were granted a place in the last four without hitting a ball?
And what about the players themselves, some of whom will have made their last appearance at the event as they may be forced to relinquish their space to cater for the unified team?
And what about those who had paid their money to watch the quarter-final, who have been deprived of the action they paid to see?
There are those who claim these are mere inconveniences and an irrelevance compared with the broader political significance of the gesture made by the ITTF.
But they are ignoring the fact that in other sports competitors have previously sanctioned for refusing to face an opponent for political reasons, as was the case with both teams when they took to the court for their quarter-final on Thursday (May 3).
At the Judo World Championships in Budapest last year, Algeria's Houd Zourdani mysteriously withdrew because he was due to go up against an Israeli opponent. The International Judo Federation later claimed he pulled out for failing to make the weight but he was still greeted as a hero back home.
Just this year, an Iranian wrestler was banned for six months for deliberately losing a bout to avoid facing an Israeli opponent in the next round. An extreme example, maybe, but it follows the same principle of a refusal to compete, a type of political interference which the ITTF have been all-too happy to accommodate at the event in Halmstad.
The IOC are indirectly responsible for the whole situation as they are funding North Korea’s participation at the tournament in the Swedish city.
The IOC then announced during an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne this week that they would be rolling out a new programme to support North Korean athletes competing at major events.
Again, this is all well and good - and it should be commended - but there are other countries in the Olympic Movement who could also do with the support.
Pakistan, for example, were barred from the World Table Tennis Championships after the country’s Government refused to let them leave the country.
Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency prevented the men's and women's teams from travelling to Sweden because, reportedly, they did not possess the necessary documentation from the Interior Ministry, meaning they had to forfeit all of their matches.
North Korea are also far from the poorest country competing at the Olympic Games, with a United Nations list ranking Gross Domestic Product for 2017 putting them 113th out of 207 countries or territories.
Ping pong diplomacy seems to work for the ITTF and the IOC, though, with South Korean table tennis legend and IOC member Ryu Seung-min among those to voice their approval.
"This is a big historical decision for both our countries," he said.
"This is table tennis history so we are very happy. I would like to thank the ITTF for their strong support. This is an important statement to promote peace between our countries through table tennis."
It is not yet clear whether that happiness has spread to the other countries competing at the World Championships.
Alas, the unified team lost their semi-final anyway, going down 3-0 to the formidable team from Japan.
It does not detract from the fact the unified team was the right decision at the wrong time.