Unified pair Jang Woojin, of South Korea, and Cha Hyo Sim, from North Korea, have earned a historic victory in the mixed doubles semi-finals of the International Table Tennis Federation's World Tour Grand Finals in Incheon.
No player from North Korea – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – has ever competed before in a final at the Grand Finals.
Jang and Cha earned a 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8 win over South Korea’s Lim Jonghoon – who earlier in the day won in the men’s doubles partnering Jang – and Yang Haeun at the Namdong Gymnasium.
Having beating the world champions to reach the last four of the mixed doubles. the mixed pairing will proceed with confidence to their final against Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem.
Meanwhile, China’s Fan Zhendong got his defence of the men’s singles title off to a good start as he won his first match, against Koki Niwa of Japan, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 to move into the quarter finals.
But there was an upset in another men’s singles round of 16 match as Germany’s former world number one Timo Boll went down 6-11, 4-11, 7-11, 11-13 to China’s Linag Jingkun.
China’s Rio 2016 champion Ding Ning moved smoothly through her first match in the women’s singles, beating Saki Shibata of Japan 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5.
Later in the day, her Chinese compatriot Chen Meng reached the semi-finals with a 16-14, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 16-14 win over fellow Chinese player Wang Manyu.