WORLD UNIVERSITY CHAMPS 2012 Finals – Tai shares wealth, Kim takes two

Kim Ki Jung took two individual titles at the World University Badminton Championships while Tai Tzu Ying finished with silver in doubles to go with her singles gold. Story and […]

Kim Ki Jung took two individual titles at the World Badminton Championships while Tai Tzu Ying finished with silver in doubles to go with her singles gold.

Story and photos:  Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Gwangju

Kim Ki Jung lived up to his family name, taking a second and third gold in his final year as a university badminton player.  Kim, whose name (金) just happens to mean gold in Chinese, had contributed one point in the mixed team final victory but found success with both Lee Yong Dae and Kim So Young on finals day of the individual competition.

Early in the men’s doubles final, Kim Ki Jung and Lee Yong Dae again had trouble maintaining any kind of lead over their opponents.  However, they refused to let it go the way of their semi-final and midway through the second game, they finally began to pull away and they maintained their cushion to win 21-18, 21-16.

“Lee is a university student now, too, so that’s why we could do this limited run,” said Kim after winning the mixed final.  “He’s a great player so that makes it easy to adapt to playing with him.

“In the semi-final, we had no idea the German players were so good so it was a surprise that the match was so difficult to win.”

Kim refused to share the gold, however, and when the mixed doubles final came, he and Kim So Young had to be patient before coming away with the 20-22, 21-19, 21-17 victory, leaving compatriots Kang Ji Wook and Kim Chan Mi with silver.

Kim now goes right back to Superseries duty after demanding week that peaked with yesterday’s four matches in an event sandwiched among a long streak of events that will end once he stays home from the Macau Open before playing as top seed in Hwasun in early December.

Tai shares the wealth

With one of the two Chinese Taipei partners on track for gold in the women’s singles, they were not to hog all the gold for themselves as they conceded the women’s doubles title to Japan, narrowly losing the first game before being outclassed in the second.

The magnanimity was obviously not intentional, however, and in fact, Miri Ichimaru and Shiho Tanaka are something of an anomaly in this event as they are an established pair.  Not only do they play together regularly, but they have been ranked as high as the world’s top 60.  On Sunday, though, they bested their previous top accomplishment of an International Challenge title by becoming World University Badminton Champions.

It was to be Tai Tzu Ying who would take the gold for herself.  Pai Hsiao Ma once again had to settle for two silvers, beaten by her doubles partner for the singles partner for the second straight year.  This time, however, she was not even to finish as she retired after losing the first game, due to a wrist injury.

Wen wins one for China

The final title went to China’s Wen Kai, who moved up a step from his 2011 Universiade silver medal when he repeated his success over Pablo Abian from the quarter-finals in Shenzhen, bouncing back from an early first-game deficit to win relatively easily 21-16, 21-8.

The medal ceremonies on the day were, of course, a dry run for the 2015 Summer Universiade, which Gwangju will be hosting.

Final results
WD: Miri Ichimaru / Shiho Tanaka (JPN) [5/8] bt Pai Hsiao-Ma / Tai Tzu-Ying (TPE)  [5/8]  22-20, 21-11
MD: Kim Ki Jung / Lee Yong Dae (KOR) [1] bt Chen Chung-Jen / Lin Yen-Jui [2]  21-18, 21-16
MS: Wen Kai (CHN) [2] bt Pablo Abian [1]  21-16, 21-8
WS: Tai Tzu-Ying (TPE) [1] bt Pai Hsiao-Ma (TPE) [2]  21-13, Retired
XD: Kim Ki Jung / Kim So Young (KOR) [2] bt Kang Ji Wook / Kim Chan Mi (KOR) [5/8] 20-22, 21-19, 21-17

Click here for complete 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 @