Oh Sang Eun of South Korea is currently placed 14th in the world ITTF men’s table tennis rankings. From July 2005, Oh Sang Eun had been ranked sixth or seventh continuously. In May 2005, he had improved to fifth place.
The first significant tournament at the starting of his career was the 1996 ITTF Pro Tour held in Fort Lauderdale, United States, where was the runner-up in both the singles and doubles event. The first singles title for Oh Sang Eun was in the 2005 ITTF Pro Tour in Suncheon, Korea. In the same year, he triumphed in both the singles and doubles events in the Pro Tour matches in Santiago, Chile and in Fort Lauderdale, United States. He was again the singles champion in the 2006 ITTF Pro Tour held in Taipei, Chinese Taipei. He was the runner-up in the 2006 Pro Tour Grand Finals in Hong Kong. In 2007, Oh Sang Eun reached the quarterfinals in the Pro Tour matches in Zagreb, Croatia, in Doha, Qatar, and in Salwa Cup, Kuwait.
Oh Sang Eun won the Men’s Singles title at the Japan Open in Wakayama in June 2009, beating Patrick Baum (Germany) in a close seven games encounter in the final. It was the first time that they had met in a world ranking event. Till now he has won eight medals at World Championships, one at Olympic Games and 13 Pro Tour events.
One of the recent matches in which the skills of Oh Sang Eun came to the fore was at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in Hong Kong in December 2006. In the semifinals, Oh Sang Eun was facing world number one Ma Lin of China. In their earlier encounter two weeks ago, Ma Lin had beaten Oh Sang Eun in 5 games, in the final of the Men’s Team event at the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.
He had to go through a surgical operation in November 2007 because of serious pain in his shoulder. Since then, he has witnessed many ups and downs and there has been no consistency in his performances.
Oh Sang Eun plays with a shakehand grip and possesses a European style of play, while Ma Lin has got a penhold grip and plays in true Asian and Chinese style. In Hong Kong, Oh Sang Eun returned the services of Ma Lin efficiently. Oh Sang Eun took the first 2 games 11-7 and 11-8. However, Ma Lin came back strongly to win the next 2 games 11-7 and 11-5. Oh Sang Eun took the fifth game 11-7 but Ma Lin turned the tables neatly to win the sixth game with the same score 11-7. The seventh game was crucial to both. Oh Sang Eun kept his nerve and triumphed 11-8. However, in the finals, he lost to another Chinese Wang Hao.
The most significant time in the table tennis career of Oh Sang Eun was when he obtained his third Men’s Singles title at the Liebherr U.S. Open in July 2005. His previous 2 titles were at the TMS Chile Open in July 2005 and the Volkswagen Open in Korea in June. In the U.S. Open, Oh Sang Eun was facing compatriot Lee Jung Woo. Lee won the first game 13-11. The second game was an extended one but Oh Sang Eun clinched the game at 16-14. Gaining in confidence, Oh Sang Eun took an early lead of 7-3 in the third game and won it 11-8. Playing in the same vein, Oh Sang Eun surged ahead to 5-0 in the fourth game and to 6-1 in the fifth game, winning both of them 11-6 and 11-5 respectively. The year 2005 proved to be a very productive year for Oh Sang Eun.