WORLDS 2013 QF – Two Kims into semis on first try

Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang notched up a fourth straight win over Koo/Tan to become the first to book their tickets to the Wang Lao Ji BWF World […]

Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang notched up a fourth straight win over Koo/Tan to become the first to book their tickets to the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championship men’s doubles semi-finals.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Guangzhou.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Unlike their opponents of today, Korea’s Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang did not come into the Wang Lao Ji 19th BWF World Badminton Championships bearing the burden of their nation’s expectations.  However, it is they, and not Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (pictured) and not their more celebrated compatiorts Ko/Lee, who will carry a flag into the semi-finals and they are doing it in their first ever appearance in the tournament.

The Malaysians kept things close until the early teens in both games but each time, they could only watch as the Koreans just sailed on past and closed it out in two straight.  Koo/Tan have been unable to win even a game from the young Koreans since their first meeting in Malaysia in January, 2012.

“The way they play just isn’t the style we have trouble with,” explained Kim Sa Rang (pictured) when asked about their ability to dominate such a strong pair.  “As a result, we can come to the match with 120% confidence and play hard to win.

“We tried to control everything low and to keep things going down and to the centre of the court.  The shuttles were a little slow and their defense is very good so rather than trying to power it down, we concentrated on playing a lot of soft shots and on controlling the frontcourt.”

“This is the first World Championship for both of us but we have simply trained so hard that we’ve been able to come to this tournament full of confidence,” added Kim Ki Jung.

Asked who, between Boe/Mogensen and Pratama/Saputro, they would rather play on Saturday, Kim Sa Rang refused to express a preference: “Well, this is the World Championship semi-final now so it’s not a matter of picking and choosing the opponents we want.  Regardless of who makes it through, we just have to do some video analysis to prepare and then give it our best shot on court.”

“I wouldn’t say we’re feeling the pressure.  We are thinking about building on the experience we’ve already gained on court and about doing our best in the coming matches,” said Kim Ki Jung.

For the Malaysian pair, this tournament was, of course, predicted as a type of crossroads as there had been talk, over the course of the past year, within the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), of splitting up the pair if they did not manage to reach the final here in Guangzhou.

Asked whether he and Tan Boon Heong themselves wanted to continue playing together, Koo Kien Keat replied, “That is something that we need to discuss between us.  We actually haven’t thought about it.”

Of the experience of playing in Guangzhou, Koo Kien Keat said, “I actually feel more comfortable playing here than in Malaysia.  Not to say anything bad about Malaysian fans but I feel I have more support here.”

Experience ruled in the other two quarter-finals as four-time Champions Cai/Fu and 2007 Champion Hendra Setiawan and new partner Mohammad Ahsan both made it through in straight games and will meet in the semi-final.  Kim/Kim must wait until the end of the last match of the day to know their Saturday opponents.

Click here for complete quarter-final 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 @