Tag Archives: an jaehyun

An Jaehyun Avenges WTTC Semi-Final Loss With 3-0 Win Over Mattias Falck

Not the post you were looking for? A guide to all of Edges and Nets’ coverage of WTT Doha (also known as WTT Middle East Hub and formerly known as ITTF Qatar Open) can be found here.

Mattias Falck (WR 8) forced An Jaehyun back from the table and out of view of WTT’s beloved new camera angle, but An still managed to take the point with a pair of hard forehand counter-loops from deep to go up 10-7 and 2-0 in games for triple match point. He only needed one as an aggressive An Jaehyun avenged his 2019 World Championship semi-final loss to Mattias Falck with a comfortable 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-7) victory in the round of 32 in WTT Star Contender at WTT Doha.

It was a stellar performance from An as his national teammates struggled: Lee Sangsu (WR 22) was upset 3-1 by Anton Kallberg (WR 58), Jang Woojin (WR 11) was upset by Ruwen Filus (WR 42), and Jeoung Youngsik (WR 13) squeaked by deuce in the fifth against Kirill Gerassimenko (WR 46). Falck is the highest ranked player that a Korean player of either gender has beaten so far at WTT Doha.

The full match can be watched on WTT/ITTF’s Youtube channel.

Game 1

Falck started the first point of the match with a strategy he would rely on throughout the game: a wide push or block to An’s forehand would force a step-around-happy An to put up a weak forehand opening, and then Falck would quickly roll it back wide to An’s backhand. Falck was able to build an early 3-0 lead, but An was able to pull off seven points in a row off very aggressive forehand loops to take a 7-3 lead. A pair of points when An lead 9-7 provided a perfect summary of the game: Falck won a point with a wide push to the forehand followed by a wide crosscourt backhand roll to cut it to 9-8, and then An won a point with a hard step-around forehand to bring it back up to 10-8. Down 10-8 Falck tried to mix things up with a serve from the forehand side, but he missed a block against An’s soft opening after a brief short-push exchange, giving An the game 11-8.

Game 2

Falck won the first two points with a pair of smart serves, but then again lost four points in a row to go down 4-2. He won the next two points to level it to 4-4, prompting An to ask for a COVID timeout, (i.e. where a player effectively gets an extra mini-break by asking the umpire to “wipe down” the table). At 5-5, An then served a long fast serve and took the ensuing backhand-backhand rally, and then Falck missed a short backhand opening to go down 7-5. Falck was able to kill a weak push from An on the next point, but then missed two consecutive half-long backhand openings to go down 9-6, prompting him to wipe the table in frustration.

An missed an attempt at a step-around forehand kill, and then Falck won two more points off of smart service play, including a risky long fast serve to An’s forehand, to level it at 9-9. However, An would take the last two points to take the second game 11-9 as Falck threw his paddle in disgust after missing another backhand opening.

Game 3

An Jaehyun stole the first point with a down the line long fast serve to Falck’s forehand, but Falck hit several nice rallies and wide shots to take a 5-2 lead. An then took a couple of rallies to level it to 6-6. An then whiffed a backhand loop against a slower than expected block from Falck, putting Falck up 7-6. Falck then missed a short push and a block, causing him to call a time-out down 8-7. The time-out was of no avail as An won the next three points to complete a 5-0 winning streak and take the match 11-8, 11-9, 11-7.


  • Falck appears not to be a fan of the COVID time-out as he wiped the table himself several times. The umpire did not give him a yellow card, a decision that Edges and Nets agrees with given our “let them play” attitude and skepticism over the effectiveness of banning table-touching from preventing coronavirus spread (you’re just calling a socially distant umpire to walk up right next to you to touch the table for you!). However, others may have wished to see existing COVID restrictions enforced more strictly.
  • An will get the chance to avenge Lee Sangsu in a round of 16 match-up with Anton Kallberg
  • Despite his great performances recently, An will not be participating in the Tokyo Olympics after losing out in the Korean Olympic Trials on what essentially was a technicality, giving his fans a massive case of second lead syndrome.

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Hugo Calderano Defeats An Jaehyun 3-1 In Dominant Fashion

Not the post you were looking for? A guide to all of Edges and Nets’ coverage of WTT Doha (also known as WTT Middle East Hub and formerly known as ITTF Qatar Open) can be found here.

A brief summary of all Day 2 action and preview of Day 3 can be found here.

After dropping the first game 11-9, Hugo Calderano (WR 6) won the next three games in a row against An Jaehyun (WR 39) with dominant finishes in each game: a 5-0 run to close games 2 and 3 and a 6-0 run to close game 4.

The event was on WTT’s official website (subject to media restrictions) at 13:00 Greenwich time on March 4. So far, recordings of Table 1 matches have not been made available online.

Game 1

Calderano started the match with a strategy he would frequently rely on throughout the match: he served two half-long serves to An’s backhand and An gave two weak returns. However, Calderano missed an easy ball on the second point, making it 1-1. However, Calderano would go on to win all of the next five points in which he served.

However, An was able to keep things close by taking the initiative on his serve. After splitting his first two service points thanks to a pretty wide block from Calderano, An would also go on to win the next five points in which he served before rushing a forehand flick against a slightly high ball. Hence, after the first 16 points, the score was tied 8-8.

An was then able to steal two more points on Calderano’s serve with a hard chiquita wide to a forehand and a well-placed soft opening to Calderano’s elbow, giving him a 10-8 lead. Calderano was able to win a service return point back with a hard chiquita of his own to narrow the lead to 10-9. However, Calderano’s next chiquita was just a bit soft, and An was able to step around for a forehand down the line winner to take the first game 11-9.

Game 2

An jumped to a 5-3 lead to start game 2 thanks to some hard openings, a saved net ball, and a service warning against Calderano that made him miss the next serve. An cholaed anyway and clearly violated table tennis karma as Calderano won the next three points off some sloppy short play from An to take a 6-5 lead.

An reclaimed a 7-6 lead with a deep push to Calderano’s forehand and a wide block against Calderano’s chiquita. However, in a preview of the next two games, Calderano won five straight points to win the game 11-7 off a combination of an edge ball, two nice exchanges by Calderano, a missed high short flick by An, and a popped up serve return by An.

Game 3

Game 3 started out similar to Game 1: Calderano continued to attack An’s backhand with half-long serves to take his first five service points before a lucky net at 6-3. An split his first pair of serves due to some crips exchanges by Calderano, but won the next three of his own serves off hard step around forehands and an aggressive push to Calderano’s elbow. When all the dust settled, Calderano held a narrow lead of 6-5.

Calderano then hit a hard chiquita against An to take a 7-5 lead, and then An appeared to yield the initiative to Calderano as he dropped four more straight points, all off of missed blocks against Calderano’s loops. Altogether, Calderano again finished the game on a 5-0 run to take the game 11-5 and a commanding 2-1 lead.

Game 4

Calderano was able to continue taking the initiative to start game 4 and jumped to a 5-2 lead. He then missed a forehand loop, and it looked like that momentum was shifting to An’s side after he narrowed the lead to 5-4 with a beautiful counter-looping rally.

However, the opposite actually happened as Calderano won a beautiful rally of his own to take a 6-4 lead. A popped up service return and a missed forehand flick from An further extended the lead to 8-4. Calderano launched a flurry of attacks to win the next three points in a row as well, capping off a 6-0 run to take the fourth game 11-4 and the match 3-1.


  • Hugo Calderano was rubbing some kind of ointment on his arm in between games. We are unsure if it is due to injury.
  • Calderano will play his former German Bundesliga teammate Simon Gauzy in the quarterfinals

After the match, Calderano provided the following post-game comments:

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Unless stated otherwise, all images and footage in this post can respectively be found on ITTF’s Flickr page and ITTF’s Youtube Channel.

This match was covered live. All live posts are shown below. Please wait a couple seconds for the live blogging software to load.


WTT Doha 2021 Preview Part 2: X-Factors Lily Zhang and An Jaehyun

This post is the second post in a series of posts previewing the 2021 WTT Middle East Hub coming March 3-13. A summary of all of Edges and Nets’ coverage of WTT Doha can be found here.

Our previous post in our preview series of the upcoming 2021 WTT Middle East Hub (also known as the Qatar Open or WTT Doha) on March 3-13 covered the logistics and format of the event. Notably, the event will be split into two back to back tournaments named WTT Contender and WTT Star Contender, and all matches through the quarterfinals are expected to be three out of fives.

Today’s post goes over one X-factor in each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events. An X-factor is a young promising but lower ranked player (outside the top 20) who has an exciting playing style, has previously upset a higher seeded player before, and has high potential to upset one or more higher seeded players in the upcoming event. We note past high profile upsets by Lily Zhang and An Jaehyun, what part of their game to watch out for, and what is at stake for them in Qatar.

Women’s Singles: Lily Zhang

Lily Zhang (WR #30) will be playing the WTT Contender event as the 15th seed and the WTT Star Contender event as the 18th seed. Zhang has an exciting style of play characterized by her signature rapid backhand rallies and her aggressive short forehand flicks. She is 24 years old, but her professional career so far is shorter than one may expect from her age as she went to college in the United States, where she only played part time, for several years before committing to playing professional table tennis full time.

Zhang has a history of upsetting top players in ITTF events, most notably in her run to the 2019 World Cup semifinals in which she defeated Miu Hirano (WR #11) in the round of 16 and Sofia Polcanova (WR #16) in the quarterfinals. Since the world circuit restart after the pandemic, she has extended her string of upsets with a win over Feng Tianwei (WR #12) in the world cup and a (three-of-out-of-five) win over Petrissa Solja (WR #19) in WTT Macau. The final two points of Zhang’s 4-3 victory over Hirano in 2019 encapsulate what makes her so exciting and dangerous: an aggressive forehand flick for the winner on the serve return followed by a 12-shot rapid backhand rally.

Lily Zhang displays her signature forehand flick and rapid backhand counter in the final two points of her 4-3 win over Miu Hirano at the 2019 World Cup.

Zhang will be representing the United States in the women’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics. Since ITTF caps the Olympics singles events to two players per country (affecting the Chinese and Japanese players ranked higher than Zhang) and WR #91 Shin Yubin rather than WR #21 Suh Hyowon will be representing Korea, Zhang would be at worst the seventeenth seed if the Tokyo Olympics were held today. Securing a top 16-seed would guarantee that Zhang does not have to play either of the Chinese stars, who continue to dominate the rest of the world, until at least the round of 16. Her chances of playing a Chinese player before the quarterfinals would also shrink from 37.5% to 25%.

The world ranking points amassed up to December will only be weighted 60 percent by early April (after Qatar but presumably before the next ITTF event), so Zhang will have 4050 world ranking points by then. The player directly ranked above her who is eligible to play in the Olympics is Minnie Soo (4158 points, WR #28), who fortunately for Zhang, will not be playing in Qatar. Zhang can pass Soo by pulling off two upsets in any combination of the two events, which would give Zhang a minimum of 4175 points. This would be enough for Zhang to be at least the 16th seed if the Olympics were held in April.

Men’s Singles: An Jaehyun

An Jaehyun (WR #39) enters the WTT Contender event as the 24th seed and the WTT Star Contender event as the 30th seed. The 21 year old is most well known for his 2019 World Championship run, in which he was a blown 7-2 lead from defeating Mattias Falck (WR #8) to advance to the finals. On his way to the semi-finals An defeated Wong Chun Ting (WR #19), Tomokazu Harimoto (WR #5), and Jang Woojin (WR #11). Due to his low world rank relative to other Korean men, An was not invited to any of the post-pandemic ITTF events in 2020. However, fans caught a glimpse of An in the Korean Olympic trials in early February, in which he defeated Jeoung Youngsik (WR # 13) and Lee Sangsu (WR #22) twice each.

An keeps the game exciting by taking high-risk high-reward step around forehand kills as seen in the first point of the video below. Even when An miscalculates and the ball is out of position but still near his backhand or center, his footwork is often quick enough to either recover and still get the instant kill or put up a softer loop and then get back in position to turn the rally into his advantage as shown in the second point of the video below.

An Jaehyun steps around twice in a row. The first point ends in an instant kill. The second point doesn’t start as well as he may have hoped, but he recovers his position to win the point in the ensuing rally.

However, since An often steps around before his opponent has even contacted the ball, a perceptive opponent can also sometimes put the ball to An’s forehand and leave him completely unable to touch the ball as seen in the video below.

An Jaehyun steps around early and Mattias Falck burns him with a backhand down the line.

Although An held an undefeated 4-0 record against top seeds Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik at the Korean Olympic trials, An’s 2-2 record against Lim Jonghoon and Cho Daesong and a quirk in Korean Table Tennis Association’s scoring rules resulted in Lee Sangsu winning the trials and qualifying for the second men’s singles spot alongside Jang Woojin, giving An’s fans all over Korea a massive case of Second Lead Syndrome. Since An will not play in the men’s singles event in Tokyo, there are no immediate seeding consequences for any major tournaments for An due to this tournament.

However, at the time of this writing Korea appears to not yet have made the coaches’ selection for the team event in the Tokyo Olympics. If An Jaehyun makes a deep run in either WTT Contender or WTT Star Contender or upsets Xu Xin or Harimoto (players from what are expected to be the top two seeds China and Japan), the coaches may be willing to overlook An’s low world rank and its seeding implications to pick him for the team event. A deep run from An is very much a possibility, since although An is only seeded 24th, there is a plausible draw (Lee in R32, Jeoung in R16, Jang in QF, Harimoto in SF) in which An makes it to the finals without having to upset a single player that he has not already beaten before in high-profile competition. A pair of finals runs for An, as unlikely as that would be, could potentially send him skyrocketing into the top 30 of the men’s world rankings.

Although Zhang and An carry the potential to pull off major upsets, their low world rank will also give them difficult paths to the finals, and they may be vulnerable to early exits. Edges and Nets will be covering their draws and some of their performances in the early stages of the tournament.

If you liked this article, please follow Edges and Nets on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated. The next post in this series will go over the list of women who are ranked in the top 20 who have entered the tournament and will take a closer look at seeds five through eight in the Women’s Singles event. It will be posted on Saturday, February 13 (North American timezone).

All images and footage in this post can respectively be found on ITTF’s Flickr page and the ITTV channel.

Korean Olympic Trials Day 4: Lee Sangsu Qualifies for 2021 Tokyo Olympics

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Lee Sangsu had qualified for the men’s singles event. The trials in fact were only for the team event. Jeoung Youngsik has been confirmed by ITTF to play the men’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lee Sangsu won both his remaining day 4 matches against Lim Jonghoon and Jeoung Youngsik and qualified for the Olympics. He will represent Korea at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Jang Woojin, who qualified directly via world rank. Lee’s qualification for the Olympics has also been verifed by several Korean sources. At the time of this posting Day 4 matches can be watched on the KTTA TV Youtube channel, but they may remove the streams from their channels later (they did so for the first three days). The final results of second leg of the round robin were:

Jeoung YoungsikLee SangsuAn JaehyunLim JonghoonCho
2nd RR Record2nd RR Place
Jeoung Youngsik (WR #13)N/A2-42-44-1Win (unverified)2-23
Lee Sangsu (WR #22)4-2N/A2-44-14-23-12
An Jaehyun (WR #39)4-24-2N/A4-14-14-01
Lim Jonghoon (WR #71)1-41-41-4N/A4-01-34
Cho Daesong (WR #141)Loss (unverified)2-41-40-4N/A0-45

The final method to determine who would go to the Olympics was to assign a player five points for winning a round robin, four points for winning second, three points for winning third, two points for winning fourth, and one point for winning fifth. The final results across both round robins were thus given by:

1st RR Record1st RR Points2n RR Record2nd RR PointsTotal PointsFinal Ranking
Jeoung Youngsik2-242-2373
Lee Sangsu3-153-1491
An Jaehyun2-234-0582
Lim Jonghoon2-221-3244
Cho Daesong1-310-4125

Although Jeoung, An, and Lim all had 2-2 records in the first round robin, the final rankings for the round robin went Jeoung second, An third, and Lim fourth based on the number of games won in the three way tie. Thus, An only had three points in the first round robin, allowing Lee to eke out a 9-8 advantage in tournament points and qualify for the Olympics. In an ironic twist of fate for An (who was undefeated against Jeoung and Lee), had the round robin only consisted of Jeoung, Lee, and An, then An would have won the qualification event as he was undefeated against both Jeoung and Lee.

Note: in our previous recap of An Jaehyun’s victory over Lee Sangsu made the incorrect assumption that final rankings would be determined by overall record and as a result stated that An Jaehyun controlled his own destiny. While An did eventually tie Lee for best overall match record and held the head-to-head tiebreaker, the ranking system described above ended up favoring Lee.

The final spot in the Olympics will be determined by coach’s selection (likely sooner than later) and will only play in the team event. Korea likely will select Jeoung for seeding purposes as they fight with Germany and Japan for the second seed and a guarantee to not play China until the finals in the team event. Selecting Jeoung over An also puts Korea in a comfortable position to hold at least a fourth seed, thus avoiding China until at least the semi-finals and giving themselves a path to a medal without defeating China.

One of the downsides of the round-robin format is the potential for anti-climatic finishes. This was the case for Day 4 of the Olympic trials as Jeoung had already been eliminated from contention by the time he played his final match with Lee. As a result, there will be no match recap in today’s post.

An Jaehyun Defeats Lee Sangsu 4-2 on Day 3 Of Korean Olympic Trials

Day 3 of action at the Korean Olympic Trials has completed. Today was the first day of the second round robin between Jeoung Youngsik, Lee Sangsu, An Jaehyun, Lim Jonghoon, and Cho Daesong. The results from this round robin and the first round robin, which was won by Lee Sangsu, will be combined to determine who will represent South Korea alongside Jang Woojin, who was selected via world rank, in the table tennis men’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics. KTTA streamed the matches of all three tables (update: KTTA later made these links unavailable to the public): Table 1, Table 2, Table 3. Based on these streams, here are the current results from Day 3 of the Korean Olympic Trials.

Jeoung YoungsikLee SangsuAn JaehyunLim JonghoonCho DaesongRR 2 RecordRR 1 RecordTotal RecordPlace
Jeoung Youngsik (WR #13)N/A4-11-02-23-23
Lee Sangsu (WR #22)N/A2-44-21-13-14-22
An Jaehyun (WR #39)4-2N/A4-14-13-02-25-21
Lim Jonghoon (WR #71)1-41-4N/A0-21-31-55
Cho Daesong (WR #141)2-41-4N/A0-22-22-44

The critical match from today’s action was An Jaehyun’s 4-2 victory over Lee Sangsu. Assuming Olympic qualification is based on the combined final record across both round robins (Update: this assumption turned out to be incorrect, as the metric used for qualification ended up being placement in each round robin and not number of total matches won. Lee would go on to qualify for the Olympics even though An won his remaining matches.), with the victory over Lee Sangsu (and an ensuing victory over Lim Jonghoon), An Jaehyun controls his own destiny, meaning that if he wins his final match against Jeoung Youngsik then he will qualify for the Olympics. The match was both high-stakes and thrilling, as An Jaehyun nearly blew a 9-1 lead in the sixth game and required five match points before finally taking the match. We recap the match below. The match begins five hours into KTTA’s Table 1 stream.

Match Recap

Game 1

Neither player could get an advantage for the first half of the game as both player exchanged points over short rallies from strong openings and some regrettable errors from each player. Among these errors was a missed serve by An at 6-6 that gave Lee room to build a 10-7 lead. However, Lee would later then make two critical errors of his own as he caught a net ball at 10-9 but missed the next ball after an out-of-position An gave a soft and high return, and then he missed his own serve at 11-10. At 12-11, it was then An’s turn to lose a game point as Lee gave a surprisingly soft serve return to the elbow that An hit into the net with an ugly backhand. Lee tried a backhand flip to the elbow again 12-12, but An was able to step around early and start a forehand-backhand rally that ended in his favor. An again stepped around at 13-12 to receive Lee’s long fast serve to the elbow, and although he stepped around too early and too far and was out of position, he was able to hit a strong forehand loop that Lee was unable to block, giving An the first game 14-12.

Game 2

An continued stepping around more agreessively in game 2 and alternated between getting into in-position forehand-backhand counterloop rallies that favored An and stepping around too early and as a result getting caught out-of-position by wide blocks from a perceptive Lee. However, after the game reached 7-7, Lee misread a pair of short balls and the position of a half-long to his elbow. Combined with a highlight point by An where he slaughtered a soft forehand opening from Lee with a massive backhand swing, Lee dropped four straight points as An took the game 11-7.

Game 3

In game 3, An got off to a hot 7-2 start as Lee missed his own serve and made two challenges to An’s forehand in the form of a slow long serve and a soft block that were both killed by Ab. Challenging An’s forehand turned out to be beneficial for Lee down the road as An would stop stepping around as much against shots to his elbow. Down 2-7, Lee gave started mixing in several suprisingly soft balls (including a chop block against a long serve) with solid attacks to An’s elbow that An either missed or failed to do much against. Lee sprinkled in a pair of highlight-reel worthy forehand counterloops just for good measure as he went on a 9-0 streak, taking the game 11-7.

Game 4

Lee extended his winning streak to 11 points with a pair of wins in the short game. However, An would win a pair of his points of his own in the short game and go on a three point mini-run that eventually resulted in a 6-4 lead. At 4-6, Lee asked the official to wipe down the table, giving himself a mini towel break. As in the third game, although An built up an early lead from failed challenges by Lee to An’s forehand, Lee would control the second half of the game with well-placed attacks to An’s wide backhand and elbow, going on a 7-1 run, with the only lost point being a missed short push on the serve return, to take the fourth game 11-7.

Game 5

Game 5 returned to the less streaky nature of the first game and a half as players exchanged solid openings and small errors. An built and maintained an early two-point lead, getting help from a net ball at 1-1 and a missed serve by Lee at 2-4. At 6-8, Lee appeared to take a small risk as he stepped around early, and when An flicked it right to where Lee’s elbow previously was, Lee was able to start a forehand-backhand rally that ended in his favor. On the next point Lee appeared primed to level the game to 8-8 but An got an impressive block in from a fast loop to his wide forehand, saving the point and maintaining a lead that ended in An taking the game 11-8.

Game 6

Game 6 got off to a rough start for Lee. First, at 0-1 Lee was able to force an out-of-position An into a forehand chop, but missed the follow up loop. Then at 2-0, An clipped the net in a long rally. Down 0-3, Lee then called time out. The timeout had no effect, as An won the next five points off a missed opening by Lee, a pair of misread serves by Lee, and a pair of beautiful counters by An. After exchanging a pair of points, An had what appeared to be a nearly insurmountable 9-1 lead.

However, Lee then won the rally against two long fast serves by An, An popped up a short serve and failed an overly ambitious forehand kill against a fast long serve to the backhand, the next point ended in a rally in Lee’s favor, and suddenly it was 9-6. An took a short table and requested the table to be wiped down, but after the break, An whiffed an ill-advised attempted backhand kill against Lee’s flick to the elbow, shrinking the lead to 9-7. Each player then split a winning forehand loop against a half-long ball to the elbow, bringing the score to 10-8 An. Lee stepped around for an easy kill against a long fast serve to the backhand from An, An missed a third ball half long from the forhehand, and then suddenly it was deuce.

An would get advantage again with a funky soft rally that appeared to have clipped the net, but then missed a counter as Lee saved a fourth match point. An caught what appeared to be another net on the short push serve return at 11-11, forcing Lee to pop up the ball, which An then put away. At 12-11, clearly a bit nervous, An bounced the ball on the table for what felt like ten seconds before serving a net-serve and the promptly calling a time-out. During the next point, An appeared to be in position to lose his fifth match point as he was forced into a chop in the middle of the rally, but he recovered for the strong step-around forehand loop from the backhand corner and won the rally and the game with a score of 13-11.

Final Score

An Jaehyun defeats Lee Sangsu 14-12, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11

Match Notes

  • Lee and An have previously never played each other in an ITTF event
  • As mentioned above, assuming qualification is based on combined record across both round robins, An Jaehyun now controls his own destiny and qualifies for the Olympics by winning his final match again Jeoung Youngsik.
  • Under the same assumption, in order to qualify for the Olympics, Lee Sangsu must both win his remaining matches and hope that either Lim Jonghoon or Jeoung Youngsik beats An. This would give him the best record outright. In a two-way tie, An would win the head-to-head tiebreaker since he beat Lee twice. (Update: This assumption was incorrect)
  • Jeoung Youngsik now also controls his own destiny. If Jeoung wins all his remaining matches (including against An and Lee), he would have the best record outright and qualify for the Olympics.
  • Lim and Cho Daesong appear to have been eliminated from contention