North and South Progress, Unified Korea to Stand in Semifinals

By Matt Hetherington | May 03, 2018, 8:25 a.m. (ET)

A historic moment took place today in Halmstad as a North and South Korea showdown was set to take place in the Women's quarterfinal stage of the 2018 Leibherr World Table Tennis Championships. No match would take place and a moment in history would repeat itself as table tennis played its hand again as a diplomatic tool. 

For neither North nor South would advance to the semifinals, no, this moment would warm the hearts of everyone attending in Halmstad. Korea would advance to the semifinals unified. Just like the never-forgotten moments when North and South joined arms in the 1991 World Championships in Chiba, Japan to create history as they joined forces to win the Women's Team title, Korea would come together again.

It was an emotional moment for many involved which included a standing ovation from the ITTF Board of Directors and a great deal of excitement and fond memories for those there in Chiba all those years ago, including An Jaehyun the Korea Republic team coach.

As North and South make steps to join hands, led by the crossing of their leader Kim Jong Un across the DMZ and the divide of both countries recently, table tennis is stepping up to play it's role in bringing the two nations together again and helping towards a goal of lasting peace.

Another feather in the hat of ping pong diplomacy. We look forward to seeing Unified Korea in the semifinal!

Read the ITTF Article here.