CHINESE TAIPEI OPEN 2013 Finals – Korea take 4th sweep

It was a clean sweep victory for Korea as they became champions in all 5 categories at the finals of the Yonex Chinese Taipei Open. Korea was already the only […]

It was a clean sweep victory for Korea as they became champions in all 5 categories at the finals of the Yonex . Korea was already the only country other than China to sweep the titles at a Gold event or above in the last 12 years. China has swept the titles before in 5 countries while Korea has now done it in 3, including at home.

By Chee Ying Fan, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

At the start of the day, Korea was already assured of two golds, in the mixed and women’s doubles with two all-Korean finals, with these, they needed an upset in the men’s singles and two victories for their higher seeded entries in the women’s singles and men’s doubles to achieve the clean sweep.

World Championship silver medallists Eom Hye Won and Jang Ye Na found themselves on opposite sides of the net in the mixed doubles final today, as did world #9 men’s pair Yoo Yeon Seong / Shin Baek Cheol.  As all four have so much experience partnering each other on court – particularly since they did a partner swap within the mixed doubles this spring – they found themselves battling a close match, with four players were familiar with each other’s playing style.

Eom Hye Won, partnering Yoo Yeon Seong, were leading through most of the first game and held the game point at 20-16 but allowed opponents, Jang  and Shin to score consecutive 6 points to win the first game 22-20. Eom/Yoo played better to win the second game, not allowing Jang/Shin to attack. However, Jang Ye Na and Shin Baek Cheol (pictured) justified their world number 13 ranking when they finally won the deciding game, 21-16, denying Eom a title on her birthday.

Defending champion and 2nd seed, Tai Tzu Ying was up next against top seed Sung Ji Hyun (pictured top), the event’s previous winner. With the crowd’s support, Tai fought hard with her deceptive and attacking play, trailing 16-18 before Sung won the first game, 21-16. In game 2, Sung continued to display her excellent placement, moving the 19-year-old Tai around the four corners of the court. Tai, who was tired after three long games in the semi-finals and also bothered by an injury to her foot, lost the second game 9-21 after misjudging Sung’s return which landed in.

With this victory following her win at the Universiade, Sung now leads their head to head record at 4-3, with Tai having last defeated her in the Japan Superseries last year.

Son Wan Ho (pictured) created the biggest upset of the day when he beat defending champion Nguyen Tien Minh in 1 hour and 17 minutes. The 25-year-old Son, whose world ranking dropped to #233 due to his absence from tournaments during his military service, lost the first game narrowly 19-21. He came back strongly in the second game, only allowing the world #5 to score 9 points. In the deciding game, Nguyen was leading 16-12 and seemed to be on the way to retain his title, when Son played more aggressively and managed to score 6 consecutive points to take the lead at 18-16. Nguyen levelled it at 18-all, but Son took his chances well, executed more attacking shots in the midst of rallies, and finally won 21-18.

Taiwan’s Tsai Chia Hsin / Lee Sheng Mu shouldered the fans’ hopes of winning a title for their country, while Korea’s Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang (pictured bottom) carried Korea’s hope for a clean sweep in the last match involving different countries. In the absence of Korea’s #1 and #3 pair, who lost in earlier stages, Korea’s #2 pair proved that they can be counted on when left as the last men standing.  They displayed fast, attacking play to blow away the local favourites in just 28 minutes with a convincing score of 21-11, 21-11.

The tournament ended earlier than expected when top seeds Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na won the women’s doubles without lifting their rackets as their opponents Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan conceded a walkover as the former had picked up an injury.

All players will now shift their focus to China Masters, which will begin on 10th September, where the Koreans hope to continue their strong performances in tournaments in the presence of the top Chinese players, who are coming off a week of the China National Games.

Final results
XD: Shin Baek Cheol / Jang Ye Na (KOR) [3] beat Yoo Yeon Seong / Eom Hye Won (KOR)  22-20, 12-21, 21-16
WS: Sung Ji Hyun (KOR) [1] beat Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) [2]  21-16, 21-9
MS: Nguyen Tien Minh (VIE) [1] beat Son Wan Ho (KOR)  19-21, 21-9, 21-18
MD: Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang (KOR) [2] beat Lee Sheng Mu / Tsai Chia Hsin (TPE) [4]  21-11, 21-11
WD: Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na (KOR) [1] beat Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (KOR) [2] [walkover]

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