Kim Min Seok - the standout champion from Korea


World no.28 man Kim Min Seok (Korea), 19, confirmed that he was a class above the opposition when he took barely 35 minutes to dispatch 17 year old Cheng Feng (Singapore) 11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, in the under 21 mens’ final of the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals, being held at the ExCel Arena, London the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Singapore teenager, Chen, who had learnt his technically very sound table tennis in China, had done wonderfully well to reach the final, knocking out the fourth seed and world no.31, ranked 127 places him, in the semis, but Kim was in a different league.

Chen did take the second game when Kim somewhat uncharacteristically briefly lost his focus, several times serving into the net. Otherwise, Kim’s smooth power, subtly deceptive serves, and rapid changes of spin speed and direction, proved too much for Chen, though the Singapore player never folded mentally and was always ready to take advantage of any lapse in Kim’s concentration.

There were several excellent rallies from the players, both right-handed shakehanders , but not very many displaying Kim’s propensity to retreat from the table, with long range ‘Waldner-esque’ backhand fishing. Kim is surely a world senior star of the near future!

Ken Muhr