WORLDS 2017 R16 – Gilmour past He at home

Kirsty Gilmour continued her dominance of world #7 He Bingjiao, beating the Chinese youngster in three games to keep Scottish hopes alive in the BWF World Championships in Glasgow. By […]

Kirsty Gilmour continued her dominance of world #7 He Bingjiao, beating the Chinese youngster in three games to keep Scottish hopes alive in the BWF in Glasgow.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live from Glasgow)

Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour may have come to the World Championships with a winning record against 20-year-old Chinese shuttler He Bingjiao (pictured) but things were very different from when she beat He in early 2016.  At that time, He was still a teenager and although she already had some Grand Prix Gold titles to her name, she lacked ranking points, experience, and consistency.

Now, He Bingjiao is in the top ten, has added two Superseries titles to her collection, and was the clear favourite in their Round of 16 match.  None of that mattered, though, as Gilmour took the opening game and stayed strong to finish the decider and take her place in the quarter-finals.

China’s women’s singles squad enjoyed some upsets of their own on Thursday, however.  A day after the first top seed was ousted from the tournament, Akane Yamaguchi followed suit.  The world #2 was beaten in straight games by 19-year-old Chen Yufei (pictured below).

Only a few seeded players came to Glasgow with dismal records against their first possible seeded opponents.  Players like He Bingjiao and her compatriots Huang/Li in women’s doubles had merely lost their only previous encounters and both suffered the same fate again on Thursday.  But Sung Ji Hyun had an even more daunting task as she went on court having only beaten Saina Nehwal (pictured above) twice in their nine meetings.  Saina made sure things again went her way and shut down the Korean world #2 in straight games.

The other players in a similar situation were Japan’s Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda (pictured below).  They had only beaten Angga Pratama / Ricky Karanda Suwardi of Indonesia once in six attempts and when they blew two match points in their second game on Thursday, it looked as if it might slip away again.  However, the 4th seeds regrouped and led the deciding game from start to finish.

The perpetrators of Wednesday’s two biggest upsets continued their march.  First Kim Duk Young and Chung Eui Seok (pictured above) followed up their ouster of the Olympic silver medallists by beating the bronze medal-winners Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.  Their concentration seemed to waver in the second game but they got back on task to build up a big lead in the decider.

The Koreans’ opponents in the quarter-finals will be none other than the other unseeded giant-killers.  A day after sending the top seeds packing, Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro (pictured below) enjoyed an easier win over the lowest-seeded pair: Denmark’s Christiansen/Daugaard.

Chung Eui Seok can now continue to dream of a World Championship title, ten years after winning the World Juniors, and 3 years after his junior partner, Shin Baek Cheol, closed that same loop.

Several players were tantalizingly close to upsets on Thursday but found themselves unable to make the final push.  The closest finish came when Chae Yoo Jung and Kim So Yeong (pictured above) had three match points against their compatriots Chang Ye Na / Lee So Hee, only to watch the All England champions go on a 5-point run to take the deciding game and the match.

Almost as close was Beatriz Corrales (pictured below) of Spain.  She was up 19-17 against China’s Sun Yu but the tall Chinese shuttler didn’t allow the Spaniard a sniff at a match point, but needed three of her own before she won their decider 23-21.

Court 4 had a few near upsets on Thursday.  The biggest could have been if Cheung Ngan Yi had been able to pull out the second game against Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (pictured above).  Sindhu took that game 23-21, though, and went on to edge Cheung in the decider.

The biggest actual upset came two matches later, when the new world #2 Shi Yuqi went down to another Hong Kong shuttler.  Wong Wing Ki (pictured below) had beaten Shi in their only previous encounter, at this year’s Malaysia Open, but while that campaign ended in a loss to the then world #1, this time Wong will be hoping for better luck as he goes up against 5-time champion Lin Dan in the quarter-finals.

Click here for complete Thursday results

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 @