VIETNAM OPEN 2010 – Victory for Thailand’s rising star

Ratchanok Intanon (photo) won her first badminton Grand Prix title at the Vietnam Open. At only 15 years of age, she may well have become the youngest player ever to […]

Ratchanok Intanon (photo) won her first badminton title at the . At only 15 years of age, she may well have become the youngest player ever to win a title at this level.  Ma Jin was crowned twice on Sunday in Ho Chi Min city.

By Adrian Kok, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

The two-time reigning girls’ singles World Junior Champion, Ratchanok Intanon clinched her first ever Grand Prix title in the 2010 edition of Vietnam Open. Her opponent Zhou Hui (photo, right) from China, who was a semi-finalist in the Bitburger Open 2010, proved to be a strong opponent, however, the young Thai won the first game with comfortable score of 21-17.

In the second game, Zhou forced Ratchanok to go overtime, but the latter prevailed with a score line of 22-20.  The promising Thai youngster was not able to compete in the Youth Olympics that were held in Singapore recently, as she did not meet the minimum required age of 17.

This victory in Vietnam will be a stepping stone for this great talent from Thailand who, on this occasion, may have become the world’s younger player to win a Grand Prix tournament as she only turned 15 last February.  Mia Audina did participate in her home country Uber Cup success when she was 14 while Saina Nehwal had her first international individual success just after her 16th birthday and Lee Yong Dae and Wang Lin were already 17 when they passed that point.  Taufik Hidayat won the Brunei Open at the tender age of 16 but had to wait longer for success at the Grand Prix level.

China’s newcomer

Chen Yuekun was not chosen to represent China in his last year of juniors this year but the 18-year-old played a superb game to beat his opponent of the day, Wei Nan of Hong Kong  21-13, 21-14. As a mark of a promising future, Chen Yuekun had beaten earlier in the draw, the local hero Nguyen Tien Minh in the quarter-finals in straight games. Nguyen was seeded number one in this tournament could not keep up with the young Chinese. Chen’s performance has improved since he lost in the third round of the Kumpoo Macau Open 2010 to Sony Dwi Kuncoro even if it had been a great performance by the youngster as he had then forced Sony to play a thrilling rubber game.

Double joy for Ma

The finals of the women’s doubles was the longest match of the competition with a recorded time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. Ma Jin and her new partner Zhong Qianxin (photo) took on their compatriots Tang Jinhua and Xia Huan. It was a thrilling game that was fought all the way to the rubber game. Ma and Zhong  triumphed  in the rubber game and won the match with a breathtaking score of 21-19,21-23 and 21-13.  Zhong, who was the World Junior doubles Champion in 2007 also won her maiden tournament in Ho Chi Min.

Ma Jin was back on court with He Hanbin and played a marvelous game to win the mixed double event. Their opponent from Hong Kong Tse Ying Suet and Yohan Wiratama HadiKusumo put up a great fight in the first game, with a minor controversy where a tap at the net from Tse supposedly touched He Hanbin’s body. The umpire however, overruled it and the Chinese pair pressed on to win the game with a score of 21-18. In the second game, the Chinese blasted their way to victory with a score of 21-11.

Last but not least, the men’s doubles proved to be a fierce competition. The only Indonesian success in the tournament came from the pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano (photo). They beat the new Malaysian combination of Ong Soon Hock and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari. The breathtaking 50-minute match was also stretch to three games that ended 21-18, 13-21, 21-17.  The Malaysian pair still has a lot of catch up to do. Being a relatively new pair that has not had much chance to show results, they were not selected to be part of the squad to represent Malaysia in the Commonwealth Games.

Final results HERE

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