ASIAN GAMES Day 7 – Close to a Taipei trio

Day 7 of the Incheon Asian Games saw Chinese Taipei take 2 upsets in quick succession, then fall just short of a third.  Tai Tzu Ying’s win over Sung Ji […]

Day 7 of the Incheon saw Chinese Taipei take 2 upsets in quick succession, then fall just short of a third.  Tai Tzu Ying’s win over Sung Ji Hyun was the most exuberant.

Story and photos by Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Incheon

Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei continues to trade homecourt embarrassments with Korea’s top shuttler Sung Ji Hyun.  Tai drummed Sung out of the Korean’s home Superseries two years ago, only to be beaten by Sung in the final of the Chinese Taipei Open the following year.

Sung has gone on to win a third title on Tai’s home soil, as well as finally beat Tai at home earlier this year, but she quite possibly would have been willing to trade all of those for a better performance at the Incheon Asian Games.

The match was a classic illustration of the power of the draught in this hall as Sung Ji Hyun struggled throughout the first game before seizing on the headwind in the second to bolt back with a commanding 21-9 win.  Tai again took the opportunity to get ahead in the decider but in spite of the success Sung had pushing Tai into the backhand corner, she never could catch up and Tai Tzu Ying was the one celebrating a minimum bronze medal performance.

Shortly afterward, Cheng Wen Hsing and Chen Hung Ling saw off the last Thai competitors at these Asian Games, beating Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in two straight.

“We beat this Thailand pair four years ago at the Asian Games, too, but they seem to beat us all the time at Open tournaments,” said Cheng Wen Hsing after her victory.  “I think the difference today was that we were just trying to play with no pressure.

“The wind makes it very difficult to control.  It blows from the side, it blows from end to end, you have to be careful when you hit long, you have to be careful with your judgement on the back line.  We tried to adapt and Hung Ling was serving really well in the second game so that gave us an advantage.”

In fact, the Chinese Taipei pair are following a pattern they did in Guangzhou in 2010, just one stage earlier.  In the Guangzhou Asiad, when they beat Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam, it was to earn a spot in the semi-finals against Zhang Nan and Zhang Yunlei, who are their quarter-final opponents this year in Incheon.

“Tomorrow will be similar.  We have beaten Zhang and Zhao once but they have beaten us many times,” Cheng grinned.  “But our plan is to do the same: to play without pressure and just focus on one point, one point, and hopefully we will get another win this time.”

Just minutes later, Hsu Jen Hao fell just short in his third game against Japan’s Tago Kenichi.  Taiwan will still be represented in the men’s singles quarter-finals, however, as Chou Tien Chen made it through earlier in the day past Derek Wong of Singapore.

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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 @