WJC FINALS – Victories for Viktor and Ratchanok

A difference in age can make a lot of difference, undoubtedly for the boys and girls participating at the World Junior Championships. Nevertheless it was 15-year-old Ratchanok Intanon (pictured) and […]

ratnachokA difference in age can make a lot of difference, undoubtedly for the boys and girls participating at the World Championships. Nevertheless it was 15-year-old Ratchanok Intanon (pictured) and 16-year-old Viktor Axelsen who defeated all of their “older” opponents in the singles. Business as usual in the other events with Malaysia getting hold of a third straight boys’ doubles and China capturing both girls’ and mixed doubles.

By Elm Vandevorst. Photos (live and archives) : RR and Badmintonphoto

Finals day was launched with the match of the day, at least for all the Danes present. Their compatriot Viktor Axelsen had the chance to win Denmark’s third ever title at the WJC and the first in one of the single events.  Peter Gade / Peter Nissen were victorious in the boys’ doubles in 1994 and Jim Laugensen / Rikke Olsen became the best in 1992 when they took the mixed doubles title back to Europe.

viktorAxelsen had to beat Kang Ji Wook, whom he had already met and beaten in the final of the German Junior.  Both shuttlers took a cautious start till 8-8, but at that moment the Korean took control until 19-14. Axelsen was determined to succeed and scored no less than 7 points in a row. The Danish youngster went with the flow and controlled the second game from beginning until the very end. A delighted Axelsen (pictured below) took his most important title with 21-19 21-10.

This must be the best day of my life so far. It has been a very good tournament and it’s fantastic to be the first European winner ever. I’m very grateful for all the support during the tournament,” said  Axelsen.

Perhaps even more impressive were the results of the Thai wonder child Ratchanok Intanon. Only 15 years old, she is the reigning World Junior Champion and again made it all the way to the final this year.  Intanon hadn’t lost a single game so far and had only Misaki Matsutomo to beat, to win the tournament twice in a row. With a commanding 21-13 in the first game, everybody thought it was already over. But her Japanese opponent is well-known for her fighting spirit and secured game two 21-16. With all to play for it was Intanon who started off furiously, earning herself a well deserved gold medal. If Intanon keeps improving, she might well become one of the greatest players in badminton history.

Also Bao Yixin is one of the most promising, female youngsters around. In cooperation with her double partners she won the women’s and mixed doubles, avoiding a Chinese disgrace. In 2009 the same Bao started the tournaments with high hopes, but returned home empty-handed. Her dreams ended abrupt in the women’s doubles quarter-final and semi-finals of the mixed.

At the Asian juniors in March, the Chinese doubles specialist already proved she made progress in her game. Only her top-seeded compatriots Tang Jinhua / Xia Huan could prevent her from winning the women’s doubles. Bao, paired with her regular partner Ou Dongni , had to compete against their main rivals again as both pairs made it into the final. Bao/Ou learnt some lessons from the previous encounters and this time at long last beat their rivals fairly easily 21-13, 21-18.

A third consecutive title for Malaysia as they defended their men’s doubles crown with success. Yao Han, winner last year with Chooi Kah Ming, now secured his gold medal along with Yew Hong Kheng. Against fellow Malaysians Nelson Heg Wei Keat and Teo Ee Yi, the second-seeded pair needed only half an hour to prevail 21-18, 21-15.

Would Bao Yixin be able to claim her second trophy of the day or would Kang Ji Wook (pictured) finally be rewarded for the literally breathtaking schedule he completed? Kang participated in three events and made it into the final in two of them. He and Choi Hye In were opposed to reigning Asian junior champions Bao and Liu Cheng. In a survival of the fittest, the Chinese pair took off without ever looking back, eventually winning Bao’s second title of the day with 21-15, 21-15.

Some of the youngsters can already starting to look forward to the upcoming Youth Olympics held in Singapore. By a twist of faith neither Axelsen nor Intanon will be able to participate as they’re too young to participate.

For complete 2010 Bimantara Cup results, CLICK HERE


About Elm Vandevorst