KOREA GP 2010 – China marches on

Bao Chunlai and most of the small but powerful Chinese contingent continued to circle around some semi-final domination at the Korea Grand Prix event in Gimcheon Thursday.  Meanwhile, the home […]

Bao Chunlai and most of the small but powerful Chinese contingent continued to circle around some semi-final domination at the Korea event in Gimcheon Thursday.  Meanwhile, the home team’s Guangzhou returnees have been dropping like flies out of the early rounds.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Bao Chunlai and Wang Zhengming are on a collision course for an all-Chinese final after both enjoyed easy second round wins.  Bao now must face Choi Ho Jin, who will thus get another chance to prove he has an edge over China’s lefthanders after his unbelievable win over Lin Dan last winter.  Choi had to work hard to beat compatriot Lee Cheol Ho 14-21, 22-20, 21-15.  Shon Wan Ho, Korea’s last seed, has to play an in-form Takuma Ueda of Japan while Thailand is down to their two youngest.  Pisit Poodchalat will face a hungry Lee Dong Keun, who has just returned to the national team and will be hoping to do one better than his quarter-final finish in Canada.  Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (pictured below) goes against China’s own up-and-comer Wang Zhengming.

In women’s singles, China stands poised to dominate the semi-finals but Sung Ji Hyun blocked a Chinese lock on the final four when she won her grudge match against Asian Junior Champion Suo Di, who had beaten Sung in Macau this past summer.  Sung will now face Ratchanok Intanon.  Ratchanok’s elder compatriot Sapsiree Taerattanachai beat her second Korean veteran in a row, this time Australian Open champion Seo Yoon Hee.

Liu Xin, Li Xuerui, and Zhou Hui all enjoyed easy wins.  Li Xuerui (pictured top) is now up against Korea’s Bae Youn Joo, whom she last met in the Asian Juniors in 2007, when she won 22-20 in the deciding game.

After the withdrawals of Park Sung Hwan and Hong Ji Hoon and the mid-game forfeits by Lee Hyun Il and Shin Baek Cheol / Kwon Yi Goo in the first two days, Korea lost more  Asian Games players when Ko Sung Hyun / Ha Jung Eun threw in the towel after 4 points and 9 minutes then Kim Min Jung and Yim Ah Young went the same way and Ha Jung Eun dropped out of women’s doubles as well.  Korea still has a capable pair in Hwang Ji Man / Park Sun Young to face China’s Bao/Hong in Ko/Ha’s stead, however.

China’s World Junior double gold medallist Bao Yixin and partner Lu Lu looked like the favourites in women’s doubles now with only the Russian top seeds and a lot of young Koreans to challenge.  First, they will actually face the tournament’s youngest competitor, 14-year-old Kim Hyo Min, who will find it tough to avenge the mixed doubles defeat of her older sister Chan Mi by Lu and Qiu.

The men’s doubles saw four seeded pairs lose on Day 3 but most to established pairs.  The tightest match was the 22-20, 22-20 victory by Hendri Kurniawan Saputra / Chayut Triyachart of Singapore over Thailand’s  Bodin Issara / Maneepong Jongjit.  Malaysia’s Goh/Teo and Abdul Latif/Hoon both advanced to the quarter-finals and will play off for a shot at Korea’s #2.

For complete results, CLICK HERE

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net