Table Tennis: Toriola bemoans Team Nigeria's quarter-finals exit

North and South Korea combine teams rather than play each other at table tennis worlds

The two Koreas are forming a unified team at the women's world table tennis championships. On paper, Japan has the upper hand as it stands second in the world rankings. In the final match, Japan's Miu Hirano dispensed with South Korea's Yang Haeun 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6.

The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea opted against playing each other at the world table tennis championships on Thursday, deciding instead to field a joint women's team for the semi-finals.

Suh shared that she saw a movie about the united team and now, it felt a bit unusual.

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Kim Song-i, victor of a bronze medal for North Korea at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, said: "I also saw this video and I was surprised about the power of the united team".

"I thought the joint team was only a part of history".

This is not the first time that table tennis has been a forum for diplomacy.

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The team bounced back in their fourth game against Bulgaria as they recorded their third win with 3-0 to boost their chance of qualifying for the next round. Suh Hyo-won, the captain of the South Korea team, said, "We'll surely win the semifinal match by joining forces". The North Koreans are Cha Hyo-sim, Choe Hyon-hwa, Kim Nam-hae and Kim Song-i. It began with the 2018 Winter Olympics held in South Korea in which both the sides had joined to set in motion the peace initiatives. The athletes will each don their respective national uniforms, since their teams were brought together during the tournament and hadn't prepared any joint gear.

It was a move approved by organizers, with Thomas Weikert, president of the sport's governing body, ITTF, telling reporters: "When I informed the board of directors about this development, the unified team received a standing ovation from the delegation and showed their sign of support to this historic move".

The two Koreas are also trying to have the combined team at this year's Asian Games in Indonesia.

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