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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 12:05 
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OOAK FORUM INTERVIEW OF SEO HYOWON

After our successful interview of Joo Saehyuk, Pipsy and I thought that it would be exciting if the OOAK Forum could interview some other members of the South Korean national table tennis team. The two players we discussed were Seo Hyowon and Kang Dongsoo, the number one female and number two male defensive players in South Korea, respectively. Haggisv has been very supportive of my interviewing either Seo Hyowon
viewtopic.php?p=114630 or Kang Dongsoo
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=22063 for the OOAK Forum, if we were able to make the connection.

My family and I have been visiting Seoul, Korea this summer, working at Seoul National University. I had asked for information from the OOAK Forum on table tennis clubs near Seoul National University. Der_Echte provided very helpful information, suggesting that I go to the Shin Jae Kook Table Tennis Club. This is a great club, with lots of outstanding, friendly, and welcoming table tennis players.

Incredibly, it just so happened that the sister of Seo Hyowon, an excellent table tennis player herself, is a coach at the Shin Jae Kook Table Tennis Club! I raised the possibility of interviewing Seo Hyowon. She telephoned her sister and within a few minutes we received the exciting response that Seo Hyowon has indeed agreed to be interviewed by the OOAK Forum.

For those of you not aware, this past April, Seo Hyowon reached a high point so far in her table tennis career by winning the 2013 Korea Open. Along the way to winning her first ITTF World Tour competition, she beat some of the top women in the world, such as Feng Tian Wei (ranked fourth in the world) in the third round 4 games to 1, and then in an incredibly exciting duel she defeated Kasumi Ishikawa (ranked ninth in the world) in the finals winning 4-3 (11-9 in the seventh game). Within two months of winning the Korean Open, Seo Hyowon's world ranking climbed from number 32 to number 16.

I would like to thank Der_Echte who translated the questions of the OOAK Forum from English into Korean and both Der_Echte and Ms. Min Jung from the Korean Table Tennis Association who translated the answers of Seo Hyowon from Korean back into English. Their help was crucial for the success of this interview.

The questions of the OOAK Forum members and the answers of Seo Hyowon are presented in both English and Korean. The questions are first indicated in English and then Korean, and the answers and presented first in Korean and then in English. I am including the questions and answers in Korean to enable Korean speakers to read this interview. I have learned From talking to table tennis players at the Shin Jae Kook Table Tennis Club that many Korean table tennis players are also interested in reading our interview of Seo Hyowon.

Steven
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SEO HYOWON INTERVIEW
서효원선수 인터뷰…

Past experiences
옛 경험들…

1. At what age did you start to play table tennis?
서효원선수는 탁구를 몇살때부터 시작 했어요?

9살 초등학교2학년말에 시작했습니다
I started Table Tennis when I was in 2nd grade of primary school at the age of 9.

2. Why did you choose to become a defensive player? Did watching the success of Joo Saehyuk, Park Miyoung, and Kim Kyungah play a role?
왜 수비선수가 됐어요? 주세혁 / 박미영 / 김경아 선수들이 성공 하는것 보고 더욱 더 수비선수가 되고 싶었나요?

초등학교때 코치선생님 권유로 수비를 했습니다 그때당시 수비선배님들도 다 선수때여서 잘 몰랐습니다
I started to play defensive style because of my coach’s suggestion when I was in primary school. At that time, I didn’t know them well since they were new players.

3. What do you attribute to your recent success such as winning the Korean Open and reaching the round of 16 at the world championships?
서효원 선수의 최근 성공이 (2013 Korea Open 우승, 등…) 뭐 때문이라고 생각하나요?

꾸준히 노력하다보면 기회가 오는데 그 기회가 이번 코리아오픈인것 같고 그 기회를 잘 잡은것 같습니다
If a person strives for his/her dream, he/she can obtain the opportunity. I think the chance for me came in the 2013 Korea Open and I caught the opportunity well.

4. How did you feel after defeating Kasumi Ishikawa to win the Korean Open?
2013 코리아오픈 결승시합에Kasumi Ishikawa를 이겼을때 마음이 어땠어요?

그전 시합에서 단체전때 너무 긴장한 나머지 쉽게 졌었는데 이겼을때 마음이 아직 나는 할수있다는 생각과 기분이 매우 좋았습니다
In the team match before the Singles final, we were beaten easily because I was so nervous. However, after I won the game, it felt really nice. The win gave me more confidence.

5. In the last point of the Korean Open, you did a very different serve that Ishikawa missed. Can you tell us something about that serve. Do you reserve that serve for special occasions?
코리아오픈 결승시합 마지막 Point에 Kasumi Ishikawa가 미스 한 아주 다른 서브 했는데 좀 알려주세요. 아주 특별한 경우를 위해 남겨둔 서브 이지요?

서브연습할때 제가 한번씩 연습 했던 서브 였는데 중요 할 때 변화를 주고 싶을때 넣는 서브입니다. 그 서브는 제가 원래 넣었던 서브에 반대회전이 되는 서브입니다.
That was a serve that I practiced. I use it only if I want a change-up at a very important moment in a match. I totally reversed the spin on the serve that I was giving her earlier.

Equipment & strategy
탁구 장비 과 전력

1. How important for you is spin variation versus control?
서효원 선수에게 컨트롤보다 회전변화는 얼마나 중요한가요?

변화는 상대를 속이기 위한 작전이기 때문에 일정한 구질보다는 변화가 있다면 상대를 쉽게 이길수 있다고 생각합니다
Spin variation is needed for me to deceive my opponent. That’s why I think I have a better chance to defeat my opponent if I have spin variation instead of control.

2. Why do you use TSP Curl P1R with the thickest sponge? Is this particular rubber difficult for you to control?
왜 가장 두꺼운 스펀지로 된 TSP Curl P1R을 사용 하나요? 컨트롤하기가 어렵지 않을까요?

처음부터 TSP Curl P1R을 썻기 때문에 컨트롤 하기 어렵지 않습니다 워낙 TSP Curl P1R이 변화가 좋고 구질이 좋아서 상대가 더 컨트롤 하기 어려워 합니다
Since I used TSP Curl P1R from the beginning, I never had difficulties in controlling it. TSP Curl P1R is such an awesome rubber for manipulating the spin and the grip is the best. I can make if difficult for my opponent with TSP Curl P1R. Often my opponents have trouble controlling this rubber.

3. Do you use your chopping to set up your offense, or is your aim primarily to defend, and then to attack when the opportunity arises?
서효원선수의 Chopping(롱커트)는 자기공격을 더욱 더 준비하기 위한 것인가요? 아니면 주로 수비하다가 공격기회 생길때 공격 하는것 인가요?

제가 공격을 하기위한 준비를 더 많이 하는것 같습니다 때에 따라서는 수비를 하다가 공격을 하지만 상대에 따라 바뀝니다
I usually use chopping to set up my offense. I sometimes defend then attack if the opportunity arises. However, it depends on the opponent and it is different for each opponent.

4. When chopping, do you vary the spin on one side (e.g., forehand) more than on the other side?
Chopping(롱커트)할때 백핸드랑 포핸드랑 회전의 차이가 있나요?

있습니다 백커트는 상대에 회전을 이용해서 보내는 것이고 포커트는 자기회전으로 보내는 것이기 때문에 자신에 능력에따라 회전변화가 됩니다
Yes, I vary the spin. On the backhand chop, I return the ball using my opponent’s spin and on the forehand chop, I use my own spin. So backhand and forehand spin variation are different, and depend upon a defensive player’s skills.

5. Why did you choose to use Butterfly Tenergy 64? Why is this set up so popular amongst Korean defenders? Is it because of spin variation, offense far from the table, reasonably good control?
버터플라이 테너지64를 왜 선택했나요? 한국 수비 선수들 사이에서 이게 왜 인기가 많죠? 회전 변화 때문인가요? 아니면 멀리서 공격하기 좋아서? 컨트롤이 좋아서?

공격이 좋아서 쓰고 있습니다
I like and use it because it is good on attack.

6. Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 64 are both popular amongst modern defenders. Why do some defenders pick Tenergy 05 and others choose Tenergy 64?
테너지05 / 테너지64는 수비선수들이 잘 쓰는 러버들인데, 왜 몇 사람은 테너지 05를 쓰고, 다른 선수들은 테너지64를 사용하죠?

05는 써보질 않아서 잘모릅니다 64도 TSP Curl P1R 같이 처음부터 썼기 때문에 쓰고 있습니다
I really don’t know about T05 because I never used it! I used both T64 and TSP Curl P1R from the beginning and I am accustomed to using it.

7. Why do a lot of defenders go for the combo Butterfly Tenergy/TSP P1-R?
수비선수들은 왜 테너지/TSP P1-R을 좋아하나요?

잘모르겠습니다 TSP Curl P1R은 구질이 좋아서 씁니다
I’m not sure. TSP Curl P1R has great grip though. That is why I use it.


8. What's so special about your Joo Se Hyuk blade in comparison with those you can buy in the shop?
서효원선수가 사용하는 주세혁 블레이드는 탁구가게에서 살 수 있는주세혁 블레이드랑 다른 점이 있나요?

저는 주세혁 블레이드가 아니고 다이오드 특주를 쓰고 있습니다
My blade isn’t the Joo S H blade. I use a custom made BTY Diode.

9. Would you try Tibhar D.tecs OX or any OX LP?
Tibhar D.Tecs OX나 다른 OX LP를 사용할 마음이 있나요?

없습니다
No, I haven’t thought about using this rubber.

10. On their backhand, Korean defenders use mostly long pips, and Chinese defensive players primarily use short pips. Why do you think that this is the case?
백핸드쪽에는 한국수비선수들은 주로 롱 핌플을 쓰고 중국수비선수들은 주로 숏 핌플을 쓰는데 왜 이럴까요?

잘모르겠습니다
Not really sure why.

11. What do you think of the ITTF's rules regarding the aspect ratio of long pimples, the 40 mm ball, etc.? Do these rules work against defenders?
핌플의 비율이랑, 40mm 볼 등 ITTF의 규정에 대해 어떻게 생각하세요? 이런 규칙이 수비선수 플레이스타일을 더욱 더 힘들게 만들었나요?

아닙니다 규정들이 수비선수들 유리하게 만들고 있는것 같습니다
No, I think the rule changes are designed to give a little more advantage to defensive players.

The professional world scene
세계적 선수들의 모습

1. Is there a particularly strong friendship amongst female defensive players?
여자수비선수들은 서로 많이 친하나요?

한국선수들 많이 친합니다
I am on very good terms with the Korean TT athletes.

Future of defensive table tennis
탁구 수비스타일의 미래…

1. Do you believe a female defender can become world champion? What about a male defender?
여자수비선수가 세계 챔피언 될수 있을까요? 남자수비선수들은 가능 하나요?

가능하다고 생각합니다 저희 감독님이신 현정화 감독님께서 항상 저는 가능하다고 믿고 인식 시켜줍니다 그래서 전 할수 있다고 생각하고 훈련하고 있습니다 남자도 가능하다고 봅니다
I think it is possible. My head coach Hyun Jung Hwa gives me the belief that I can do it, and she cheers me up. So, I train hard with the belief that I can become world champion. I think it is also possible for a male defender too.

2. At the recent Asian Table Tennis Championships in Busan, there were 0 male and 4 female defensive players. Do you think that something can be done to increase the number of defensive players?
2013부산 아시아 탁구선수권대회에서는 여자 수비선수가 4명이고 남자수비선수는 한명도 없었는데… 수비선수들이 더 많이 생기기 위해서는 무엇을 해야 한다고 생각 하나요?

수비선수들이 세계대회에서 챔피언이 되어서 어린선수들이 보고 수비도 할수 있다는 믿음을 주고 자신감을 주어서 수비가 하고싶다는 마음이 생기게 해주어야 될것 같습니다
I think the answer is for a defensive player to be the CHAMPION. That gives the younger junior players belief that a defensive player can be a champion. Since we give this self-confidence to them, this gives them the desire to become a defensive player.

3. Do you think that there will be a major change in equipment (blade and/or rubber) chosen by defensive players due to the new plastic ball?
새 플라스틱 공 때문에 수비선수들이 장비를 또 바꿔야 된다고 생각 하나요?

아니요
No.

Future of Seo Hyowon
사효원선수의 미래는…

1. What aspect of your game will you have to improve to enable you to beat the top women from China?
중국 상위권 선수들을 이기기 위해 자신의 경기에 무엇을 향상시켜야 한다고 생각하나요?

수비 공격 그리고 이기겠다는 근성과 머리 싸움에서 이길수 있는 수.
I think I have to improve my defensive and offensive skills, have a more winning strategy, and a greater desire to win.

2. What are your long term table tennis goals?
서효원선수의 장기적 목표는 무엇일까요?

아시안게임 올림픽 금메달
A gold medal in both the Asian Games and the Olympics.

3. What have you learned from the older and now retired female defenders Kim Kyung Ah and Park Mi Young? What flaws in their game did you see and did you cover those in your own game?
김경아 / 박미영 선수 한테서 무엇을 배웠나요? 그리고 그들의 게임에서 약점을 발견하고 자신의 게임을 어떻게 보완했나요?

모든 기술과 심리적 정신적 움직임 그리고 경험을 이야기 해주고 큰시합에서 느낀점을 얘기 해줍니다
They told me how they felt in the huge matches. They also told me about all skills, including mental and psychological aspects of the game.

4. Where can you still make progress (technical, tactical)?
자기게임에 아직 발전 할수있는것 남았을까요?(기술적인부분, 전술적인부분)

많이 있습니다 공격이나 수비 그리고 서브에 이은 공격 리시브에서 바로 공격이 들어갈 수 있는 것 등등
There is a lot to improve. Offense and defense, setting up or preventing my opponent from attack after their serve, and attacking my opponents’ serves, etc…

5. Do you plan to change your equipment (blade and rubber) once the plastic ball is adopted.
2014년에 플라스틱 공 사용하면 자기블레이드나 러버 다른것으로 바꿀 계획 있나요?

아니요
No.

Training
훈련…

1. How many hours per day do you practice table tennis, exercise, run, and lift weights?
탁구관한 활동 (연습, 운동, 조깅, 역도, 등) 하루에 몇시간씩 하나요?

새벽 한시간 오전 두시간반 오후 두시간반 야간 한시간 총 여섯시간반
I work out for an hour at sunrise, 2 hours in the morning, 2 and a half hours in the afternoon, and another hour at night time. Altogether about 6.5 hours each day.


2. Would you consider training in China to get used to their attacking techniques?
중국선수를의 공격방법을 더욱 더 배우고 익숙해지기 위해 중국에 가서 훈련 할 마음이 있어요?

네있습니다
Yes. I would.

Some additional questions
질문 몆가지 더…

1. What kind of car do you drive?
차 어떤것 운전 하나요?

없습니다
I do not have a car.

2. Do you like KPOP?
한국최신가수 누구 누구 좋아요?

빅뱅 비스트 시스타 소녀시대
I like Big Bang, Sistar, and Girls Generation.

3. Do you like PSY?
PSY가 좋아요?

네 Sure!

4. Are you interested in becoming an actress?
앞으로 여배우 될마음이 있어요?

아니요
No.

5. What do the Korean players say before the start of each point - it sounds like "POW!"
한국탁구선수들은 포인트 전에 POW! 같은소리를 꼭 내는데 그것이 뭐예요?

자신에 기합 힘을 모으기 위한 기합^^
This is something for me to help gather a fighting spirit right before the point starts.

6. Who is your best friend on the Korean Team?
한국팀에 제일 친한 친구 누구 예요?

많습니다 석하정 박영숙 심새롬 김경아 박미영 등등
I have lots of best friends. Seok Ha-Jeong, Park Young Sook, Kim Kyung Ah, Park Mi young are just a few to name.

7. What role have your parents played in your career?
부모님들이 자기 직업에 어떻게 도와주셨나요?

항상 묵묵이 힘이 되어주고 응원해주고 몸에 좋은 음식 여러가지등등
My parents have been supporting me silently through the years. They always cheer me up and they feed me great nourishing foods, etc.


8. What does your name mean in English?
자기이름은 영어로 무슨 뜻이 있을까요?

한자로는 효도 효 으뜸 원 효도를 잘하자 영어는 모릅니다
Korean names have Chinese characters with their own meaning. My given name is Hyo-Won. This Hyo in Chinese is “filial piety” and Won in Chinese is “the best”. Therefore, Hyo-Won means “the highest level of respect of one’s parents”. It is difficult for me to know how to say it in English.


9. What is your favourite kind of food, Korean and Western?
서효원선수 제일 좋아하는 한국음식…제일 좋아하는 양식 무엇일까요?

삼겹살 김치찌개 파스타
For Korean food, I like Samgyupsal (that is grilled pork with a ton of fresh veggies) and Kimchi stew. For western food, I like Pasta.

10. What is your favourite hobby?
서효원선수 제일 좋아하는 취미 무엇일까요?

영화보기 드라마 보기
I like watching movies and drama shows.
Image

_________________
Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk
Butterfly Tenergy 80-FX 1.9mm
TSP Curl P1R 1.4-1.7mm
--------------
Returned to table tennis September 2011
Canada National Team Member, 1973-1975
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1972-1987
Brickell Balsa/Birch 3-ply Blade
Yasaka Mark V 1.5mm
Joola Toni Hold AntiTopspin 2.5mm


Last edited by birding&table.tennis on 15 Aug 2013, 16:05, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 16:54 
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Dark Knight
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That's a great interview, thank you birding&table.tennis and the others that helped out! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 22:15 
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Joo Too
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Great! :up: :up: :up: Too bad my "cute" question wasn't included... :D

I loved the part about her ambitions and the believe about a defender becoming world champion. She's quite the lady on those parts!


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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2013, 00:00 
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Lorre wrote:
Great! :up: :up: :up: Too bad my "cute" question wasn't included... :D

I loved the part about her ambitions and the believe about a defender becoming world champion. She's quite the lady on those parts!


Don't worry Lorre...they didn't include my boyfriend question as well. :D
Seriously, you hit it on the head, she is a lady, first-class and all.
Thanks to birding&table.tennis and Der_Echte for including my questions, whether trivial or lame and to this fantastic forum.

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 01:03 
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For the record, I had NOTHING to do with the selection of questions. I helped out to translate the questions into English, then gave an opinion of the answers for the final question responses. My written Korean style needed touch up work before being submitted to a Korean... That is understandable and natural as I am not Korean and operate on a spoken style at a good level, but not the written style. Written style is a whole language of its own. Expressing Korean into an understandable English form is another matter and I do that well, but I focus on what the speaker means and say it in a manner that a native English speaker understands, yet that is not a word for word thing. Such a translation while correct does not make a coherent product. Translating anything is a rough task to make all understand well in their culture. The Korean dude who looked over my suggested passage has a lot of good sense for sure.

Translating anything literally while correct is correct, but unless one knows something about the culture and language, a lot is lost or jumbled. Birding & TT took a lot of time to make proper sense of everything and did not rush to failure, he is too meticulous for that. A lot of younger, more anxious folk would have pulled the trigger too soon for mistakes that would be too late to fix. Birding & TT's profession allows none of that.

Birding & TT is absolutely correct in taking time and going slow about trying to get it right as can be.

Some of the examples would be in the passage where she played defensive style because her coach did a "권유" to SHW. 권유 means to "ask" but in Korea, when someone like a boss or someone superior "asks"... they really are not asking... neither is the mafia when they ask you pay for security services. I would suggest that coach "kinda twisted her arm" which could mean that coach unduly influenced this in a somewhat strong manner or as a matter of expression coach asked a little less strongly. If coach really "asked" it would have been expressed differently or implied differently in Korean.

Where she said "We lost easily" I would suggest "we got our butts handed to us"...

Translating is a setup for failure and the Korean contact of Birding & TT did well to avoid a riot. That is too easy to incite from even a little error.

A lot of you would be surmised to hear she has no car. In Seoul, you can move about less expensive and often faster without a car using the bus, subway and taxi if you know how/where/when they operate.

A lot of you would be surprised to see that many Korean pros are very terrible at being knowledgeable EJs. Don't get me wrong... you put a bat in their hands and after the 2nd or 3rd hit, they know what is right or wrong with it right away. They cannot explain what layer of wood and which thickness or gluing method affects the performance how, but they can FEEL it right away.

A lot of us would be disappointed to hear a Korean pro say the ITTF isn't conspiring against the defenders (Hey, conspiracy theories SELL), but we all heard it from her.

IN Korean age, 9 is actually EIGHT for most of us.

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 08:03 
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Great interview, great woman! OOAK just got the first interview with the future number one in women's table tennis 8)

Brilliant job, Birding! And thank you Der_Echte for the translations and for telling us about Korean habits and culture. Really interesting!

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 09:14 
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Great job with the interview!

I found it interesting that she started LP so young at the suggestion of her coach. I wonder why her coach suggested it?
Most people seem to recommend that you start with double inverted first and get your basic techniques down pat before thinking about changing to LP. I wonder if this is necessarily true, however. What's wrong with using LP from a young age? Doesn't seem to have done any harm to Seo Hyowon.

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 11:22 
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I should get some pics going, but at our local club, there is a 8 or 9 year old girl who comes in for lessons a few times a week. Our coach, an ex female Korean Pro league LP defender, gives her lessons as an LP defender. That Girl's setup is close to SHW's... 8-9 yr old girl uses Nexy Lissom ALL+ blade, TSP Curl 1R, and an inverted rubber I forget, either Yasaka Extend HS or one of the Omegas, I forget. She practices chopping on both wings and pick hits. She uses those long windmill chopping strokes and has great timing and movement for someone her age.

Like PK sez, nothing wrong with starting out as a defensive player from the get-go.

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 14:55 
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A few good pictures added to this interview would probably be worthwhile.. :up:

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 15:25 
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I am happy to read that many people have enjoyed the interview of Seo Hyowon. I heard, through Seo Hyowon's sister, that since she has been training very hard for the China Harmony Open this week, she has not yet had the time to read the interview on the OOAK Forum website. Seo Hyowon does plan to read the interview next week after the competition is over.

Seo Hyowon also sends her thanks to everyone at the OOAK Forum that has been involved with the interview.

Steven

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2013, 15:43 
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I've added in birding&table.tennis's picture! :up: :up: :up:

This really is a great interview! She's such a great player to watch... it very inspiring.
From her interview she also sounds like a quite a humble person, which I really like about here! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2013, 00:53 
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Wow! Very interesting read...

Great job and thank you for your efforts in getting this interview done!

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PostPosted: 30 Aug 2013, 03:19 
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Pipsy wrote:
Great interview, great woman! OOAK just got the first interview with the future number one in women's table tennis 8)

Brilliant job, Birding! And thank you Der_Echte for the translations and for telling us about Korean habits and culture. Really interesting!


I am now back in the US after a great summer in Korea.

With regard to becoming the number one player in the world, I was told that there is lots of optimism amongst Korean players because of the success of players such as Joo Saehyuk (#2 in the 2003 world championships, and ranked #61 in the world at that time) and Ryu Seungmin (2004 Olympic champion). I see this optimism in my own area of work, as several of the top universities in Korea strive to eventually be amongst the best universities in the world. When one sees the tremendous advances in almost every field that have taken place in Korea during the past few decades, it is easy to understand where this optimism comes from.

Steven

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PostPosted: 30 Aug 2013, 08:07 
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Yes they have good potential for sure, and this would be great for the sport!

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2013, 13:57 
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too bad I didn't get a chance to ask her when she was going to come to Canberra to set up a training camp for budding choppers! :(

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