VIETNAM OPEN 2013 – Juniors 2, Korea 3

World Junior Championship semi-finalists He Bingjiao and Choi Sol Kyu / Chae Yoo Jung earned the first Grand Prix titles of their careers at the Yonex – Sunrise Vietnam Open. […]

World Junior Championship semi-finalists He Bingjiao and Choi Sol Kyu / Chae Yoo Jung earned the first titles of their careers at the Yonex – Sunrise .

Story and photos (archives) by Don Hearn

How fitting that in the last Grand Prix event of the year, so many players earned the first such title of their careers!  In fact, given the ages of many of today’s winners, these may well be the first of many.

While Fran Kurniawan and Bona Septano each have Grand Prix titles of their own from previous partnerships, this was still their first as a pair, leaving Son Wan Ho as the only true repeat offender.

Junior joy

The afternoon started off with a Grand Prix first for two-time Asian Junior Champions Choi Sol Kyu / Chae Yoo Jung (pictured).  The Koreans took their time but finally took down veterans Liao/Chen of Chinese Taipei in three games.

They were followed by a quick win by 16-year-old He Bingjiao (pictured top) of China.  She had little trouble with 21-year-old Indonesian Desi Hera.

These became the 4th and 5th inaugural major titles won by under-19 athletes this year.  The previous 3 were all in women’s singles, as P. V. Sindhu, Akane Yamaguchi, and Aya Ohori had won their first Grand Prix Gold, Superseries, and Grand Prix titles respectively, this year.

As Choi/Chae embark on their senior careers in 2014, He Bingjiao will no doubt prove to be a formidable challenger to Yamaguchi, Ohori, and also to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, as all four now have major senior titles to their names.

Korea takes 3

As expected, Korea’s Son Wan Ho took his third title of the year when he beat Tan Chun Seang of Malaysia in two straight.  Son’s Macau Open title moved him up to #30 in the world rankings but this title in Vietnam came just a week too late to give him that boost into the crucial top 28 that would allow him to avoid the qualifying rounds of Superseries events.  As it is, he is at the top of the qualifying list for his home Superseries event, the Korea Open, which kicks off in just 30 days’ time.

Korea went three for three as Ko A Ra and Yoo Hae Won (pictured) took their own first ever international title, one that should propel them into the top 10 this Thursday.  They battled through three lopsided games before finally taking the final from Malaysia’s Anscelly/Soong.

18 all

Two more 18-year-olds, Lin Chia Yu and Wu Hsiao-Lin of Chinese Taipei, came up short against Indonesian veterans Fran Kurniawan / Bona Septano.  The number 18 kept popping up in the scoreline as well but it was the two men in their twenties who came up with the first title of their young partnership.

Final results
XD: Choi Sol Kyu / Chae Yoo Jung (KOR) beat Liao Min Chun / Chen Hsiao Huan (TPE) [3]  22-20, 19-21, 21-14
WS: He Bing Jiao (CHN) beat Desi Hera (INA) [2]  21-10, 21-6
MS: Son Wan Ho (KOR) [6] beat Tan Chun Seang (MAS) [2]  21-14, 21-9
WD: Ko A Ra / Yoo Hae Won (KOR) [1] beat Amelia Alicia Anscelly / Soong Fie Cho (MAS) [2]  12-21, 21-10, 21-9
MD: Fran Kurniawan / Bona Septano (INA) [5] beat Lin Chia Yu / Wu Hsiao-Lin (TPE) 18-21, 21-18, 21-18

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 @