August: Jung Youngsik

jung_youngsik_05_07_15_LargeKorea’s Jung Youngsik – photo provided “courtesy of the ITTF”

Jung Youngsik is SD Sport’s player of the month for July and has consequently been selected as the focus for August’s spotlight.

Born January 20th 1992 in Uijeongbu (Korea), Jung is one of his country’s younger professional table tennis players (23) and began playing at the age of 7.¬†Previous achievements include: 2nd at the 2005 Asian Youth Championships, 2nd at the 2010 WTC-World Team Cup and winning the doubles event at the 2013 Poland Open.

Jung Youngsik had never advanced beyond the quarter-finals stage of an ITTF World Tour singles tournament before 2015, and the year started by another last 8 exit at the Kuwait Open. However, Jung did manage to impressively defeat Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov before eventually exiting to Ma Long (China).

The Philippines Open (May) presented Jung with his first final, however, the competition ended in disappointment for the Korean player after losing to the up-and-coming Yuya Oshima (Japan). One week later, Jung Youngsik won that all important 1st ITTF tournament following victory over Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit in the Australian Open final.

July saw the 2015 Korea Open take place with Jung Youngsik competing against the likes of Lee Sangsu, Joo Saehyuk and Koki Niwa. Jung pulled out all of the stops to secure his 2nd title with his win over Joo in the men’s singles final, and his hopes of booking his place in Korea’s Olympic team for Rio 2016 are looking more and more likely as the Games approach. Jung Youngsik’s current rank is 16th (July) up from 21st.

Jung Youngsik vs Joo Saehyuk at the 2015 Korea Open – video by the ITTF