BADMINTON ASIA U19 – China fo(u)r the Win

After winning the team event earlier this week China’s youngsters demonstrated their formidable form, seizing four out of five trophies in the individual event.  Korea’s boys’ doubles team Kang Ji […]

After winning the team event earlier this week China’s youngsters demonstrated their formidable form, seizing four out of five trophies in the individual event.  Korea’s boys’ doubles team Kang Ji Wook and Choi Seung Il won the only final without Chinese shuttlers, against Malaysians Yew Hong Kheng / Ow Yao Han.

By Elm Vandevorst, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: (archives)

There is no bulletproof warranty that these new kids on the block will be able to develop into top players.  But with predecessors such as Wang Yihan, Chen Long, Kenichi Tago or Lee Yong Dae in mind, it might just happen for some of them.  Meanwhile the future of Chinese badminton appears a moral certainty with convincing performances in both the team and individual event.

One of the powerhouse latest talents, Bao Yixin (pictured below), made it into two finals and secured her first title without even playing.  Teamed up with her mixed doubles partner Liu Cheng, they were supposed to be in for a clash against Ow Yao Han / Lai Pei Jing from Malaysia.  Unfortunately the latter had to forfeit due to an ankle injury to Lai.  It was a second success for Yixin as she already won the mixed doubles last year together with Lu Kai.

As in the mixed doubles, the two top seeded players made it all the way to the final.  Suo Di and Sapsiree Taerattanachai had to decide this interesting Chinese/Thai duel.  Thailand can count on some very gifted girls, beside Sapsiree.  Also Ratchanok Intanon and Porntip Buranaprasersuk – who were, respectively, champion and runner-up at the last World Championships – represent the Southeast Asian country.  Both finalists today were held off by one of their opponent’s compatriots in an early stage of the Asian Juniors last year.  However this time, none of their challengers could prevent Di and Sapsiree from entering the final.  In a very one-sided final, Suo Di outshined Sapsiree 21-13, 21-11.  A great result for the Chinese shuttler who didn’t drop a game throughout the tournament.

Huang Yuxiang was almost out of the tournament after his very first match.  Against Hasegawa Tatsuya he fell one game behind, but after almost one hour prevailed 14-21, 21-17, 21-19.  But the young Chinese turned things around and had only to beat Loh Wei Sheng from Malaysia if he wanted to be victorious.  Sheng took the best start and game one 21-14, still comeback kid Yuxiang captured the second and deciding games 21-17, 21-16.

An all-Chinese final in the girls’ doubles can hardly be called a surprise, while China has been dominating this discipline for some years now.  It was the same story even at the Asian Juniors, with Bao Yixin in an attempt to pick up a second title.  Teamed up with her new partner Ou Dongni, they had the nearly impossible task of beating reigning World Junior Champions Xia Huan and Tang Jinhua (pictured top).  Tang/Xia held a flawless rehearsal for the upcoming World Juniors, to be held in Mexico, triumphing in all of their matches in about half an hour or less.  The final was no exception to that rule.  After a gained first game which they won 21-17, they simply cruised to victory in the second 21-18.

Although they came back from the German Junior with four gold medals, the Korean delegation had only one team present on final’s day.  Boys’ doubles mixture Kang Ji Wook and Choi Seung Il (pictured) were up against some familiar faces: Malaysians Yew Hong Kheng / Ow Yao Han.  The foursome already met in the semi-finals of the previous Asian Juniors.  At that time the Koreans were beaten after three sets 17-21, 21-8, 16-21, though the Malaysian pair eventually lost the final.  This year Kang and Choi had a better game plan and secured the 21-16, 21-14 victory.

With the World Junior Championships starting in less than a month, it seems clear that the Chinese contestants are once again the favourite in almost every event.  The Mexican city of Guadalajara will be hosting the World Juniors, starting the 18th of April.  Meanwhile, those who saw success in the singles competitions may even be looking ahead to the shorter trip, in August, to the Singapore Youth Olympic Games, for which this tournament served as a qualifier.

For complete individual results from the 2010 Badminton Asia Youth Under 19 Championships, CLICK HERE


About Elm Vandevorst