THAILAND OPEN 2013 Finals – Intanon takes home title

The SGC Thailand Open 2013 reached its conclusion in Bangkok on Sunday, where Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon took home the women’s singles gold medal – the first time in the history […]

The SGC 2013 reached its conclusion in Bangkok on Sunday, where Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon took home the women’s singles gold medal – the first time in the history of the event that the women’s gold medal stayed at home. Indonesia captured the mixed and women’s doubles, whilst Korea won the men’s doubles and India took home an unexpected gold in the men’s singles.

Story and photos by Gerald Jew, Badzine Correspondent, live in Bangkok

Thailand was assured of its first women’s singles gold medal at this year’s Thai Open, as Ratchanok Intanon faced 17-year-old compatriot Busanan Ongbamrungphan (both pictured) in the women’s singles final, but it only seems fitting that Intanon, who is arguably the most popular female sports figure in Thailand, was the one who took home the gold. In a tight three-game match that saw Ongbamrungphan overcome two game points to take the first game and match Intanon point for point most of the way, it wasn’t until after the mid-game interval in the third game that Intanon finally took control and finished off her younger (by one year) opponent.

After the match, Intanon said, “I’m very happy to win the Thailand Open.  Playing in the All England and other international tournaments has given me the experience to play better and improve. I’m very happy to be the first Thai woman to win the Open.  It’s very special for me to win my home country’s championship in front of the Thai fans.”

The day hadn’t started off well for the home fans, though, as Boonsak Ponsana lost to India’s Srikanth K. (pictured right) in the first match of the day, 21-16, 21-12.  Ponsana didn’t look to be the same player that dominated his opponents on his way to the final, but Srikanth had a lot to do with Ponsana’s less than stellar play, as he displayed an excellent all-around game that Ponsana was not able crack.

The 20-year-old from Hyderabad said after the match, “I wasn’t really nervous and I didn’t feel any pressure, but I knew playing Boonsak in front of a big crowd in Thailand was obviously going to be tough. I just wanted to come out and give 100%. I’ve won challenge tournaments and made it to the Macau semi-final before, but this is my first major tournament final and my first major tournament win.”

Asked about his future plans, Srikanth said, “We will definitely celebrate tonight, but we’ll head back to Hyderabad and get ready for the Singapore Open. This win will really help me in the future.”

The women’s doubles were the first of two championships for Indonesia on Sunday, the recently re-formed team of Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari easily beat Japan’s Yuriko Miki and Koharu Yonemoto (pictured left), 21-7, 21-13, to take home the gold.

Polii commented about their win after match, “We feel very excited, we feel very good, we’re very happy today. We knew that it was important for us to win today.  It was a big stepping-stone for us for the future. Nitya and I have a good standard of play together.  We just want to focus on getting more good results. We don’t really have time to celebrate.  We leave very early tomorrow and play in Indonesia [at the Indonesian Open] on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

In the mixed doubles discipline, two other Indonesian pairs faced one another, and the 2nd-seeded team of Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth defeated the 4th-seeded team of Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili to take the championship.

The men’s doubles saw Korea’s Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon Seong, the 5th seeds, beat the 2nd-seeded Russian pair of Vladmir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov (pictured right) in three games.  It was a fitting return to action for Yoo, who had to leave the Korean national team temporarily when he began his military service.  His partnership with Shin thus had a second strong start, for it was in their first tournament ever as a pair that they won the Denmark Open last fall and they have now won their first tournament after regrouping.

Final results
MS: Srikanth K. (IND) [13] beat Boonsak Ponsana (THA) [1]  21-16, 21-12
MD: Shin Baek Cheol / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) [5] beat Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov (RUS) [2]  18-21, 21-15, 21-14
WD: Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii [8] beat Yuriko Miki / Koharu Yonemoto (JPN)  21-7, 21-13
XD: Markis Kido / Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth (INA) [2] beat Riky Widianto / Puspita Richi Dili (INA) [4]  18-21, 21-15, 21-15
WS: Ratchanok Intanon (THA) [2] beat Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA) [7] 20-22, 21-19, 21-13

Click here for complete, detailed results

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