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South, North Korea form joint table tennis team

Instead, both teams requested that they want to form a unified Korean Team to compete together in the semi-final, which will be held 4th of May at 11:00am against either Japan or Ukraine.

Her victory completed Japan's 3-0 win against a unified Korea team.

The women's teams from the two countries, originally competing separately, decided Thursday to combine teams rather than play each other in the quarterfinals.

The decision to form a unified team was a tripartite agreement between the leaders of the North and South Korean Table Tennis teams and the ITTF.

Ryu said there was no discussion on a possible joint team prior to the world championships.

At the height of the Cold War, a group of ping pong players became the first Americans to visit Communist China, an occasion which is often credited for thawing relations between two countries that had not at that time been in contact for 22 years.

"I thought the joint team was only a part of history. The ITTF's motto is 'Solidarity Through Table Tennis.' And I think the combined team fits that vision".

Veteran Liu Shiwen beat Lee Ho Ching 3-1 in the third game to help China lead by 2-1.

The unified team consists of nine players, five from South Korea and four from the North. The South Korean players are: Jeon Ji-hee, Kim Ji-ho, Suh Hyo-won, Yang Ha-eun and Yoo Eun-chong.

It was a transfer authorised by organizers, with Thomas Weikert, president of the game's governing physique, ITTF, telling reporters: "Once I knowledgeable the board of administrators about this growth, the unified workforce obtained a standing ovation from the delegation and confirmed their signal of assist to this historic transfer".

Weikert said, who added there was no external pressure to combine the Korean teams and the ITTF has informed the International Olympic Committee of the news. Talks for joint Korean teams at the Asian Games gained momentum last week following the inter-Korean summit.

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