MALAYSIAN MASTERS 2015 SF – Birthday final for Wang

Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei will play for a Grand Prix Gold for the first time on his 20th birthday after beating the Commonwealth Games champions on home soil. By […]

Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei will play for a Gold for the first time on his 20th birthday after beating the Commonwealth Games champions on home soil.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei finished his teen years in style, making his way to the final of the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Masters.  Not only is this the first Grand Prix Gold final of his career but he and veteran partner Chen Hung Ling (pictured) won their semi-final at the expense of reigning Malaysia Open Superseries Premier champion Goh V. Shem and his partner Tan Wee Kiong, with whom he won the Commonwealth Games gold medal.

In the final, they will face Russian Open champions Kenta Kazuno and Kazushi Yamada, who are in their first Grand Prix Gold final, less than two years after they paired up when Yamada made the jump from singles to doubles.

Prior to the change by Yamada, Naoko Fukuman had made the same type of switch.  In fact, she was one of five veterans of the singles-only 2010 Youth Olympic Games who went on to specialize in doubles.  Three of these have already been to the top 20 and Fukuman is keen to join them.

Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao (pictured) are the new All Japan champions and they were just named to the national A team in Japan this year, bumping out former world #3 Shizuka Matsuo / Mami Naito despite the fact that the younger ladies had very few international results last year.  The confidence of the Japanese coaching staff in the two 22-year-olds proved well-founded, however, as Fukuman and Yonao followed up a quarter-final win over Matsuo and Naito by booking their spot in a Grand Prix Gold final for the first time when they edged out 2013 World Junior Champions Chae and Kim of Korea 22-20 in the deciding game.

Another grudge match between Japanese compatriots will take place in the women’s singles final.  After beating 2013 champion P. V. Sindhu in the semis, Nozomi Okuhara (pictured) now faces Sayaka Takahashi, who was one of the players bumped down to Japan’s national B team to make room for Nozomi and Yui Hashimoto, whom Nozomi beat in the quarter-finals.

Praveen Jordan is the only one of the six past champions in Saturday’s semi-finals to survive until the 2015 final.  The 2013 winner, along with Debby Susanto, beat compatriots Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja and now face top seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen, who closed down home hopes in the form of Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing.

Pedersen is the only top seed to reach the final, which she did also in women’s doubles.  She and Kamilla Rytter Juhl needed two games to see off 2013 champions Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth / Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.

Finals line-up
WD: Christinna Pedersen / Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) [1] vs. Naoko Fukuman / Kurumi Yonao (JPN)
WS: Sayaka Takahashi (JPN) [3] vs. Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) [4]
MS: Lee Hyun Il (KOR) vs. Jeon Hyeok Jin (KOR)
XD: Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [1] vs. Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto (INA) [2]
MD: Chen Hung Ling / Wang Chi-Lin (TPE) [8] vs. Kenta Kazuno / Kazushi Yamada (JPN)

Click here for complete semi-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 @