VIETNAM OPEN 2016 Finals – Yeo and 6 others win first Grand Prix

All but one of the winners of the 2016 Vietnam Open celebrated their first career Grand Prix titles, including 17-year-old Yeo Jia Min of Singapore. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto […]

All but one of the winners of the 2016 celebrated their first career titles, including 17-year-old Yeo Jia Min of Singapore.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Eight players ascended to the top of the podium in five disciplines on Sunday at the 2016 Vietnam Open Grand Prix.  Indonesia’s Rosyita Eka Putri Sari returned to win back the women’s doubles title she won two years ago but her partner and all six other winners were to taste Grand Prix success for the first time in their careers.

The youngest winner on the day was Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min (pictured top).  The 17-year-old was able to win in straight games over Ayumi Mine.  The Japanese veteran herself only recently took the first major title of her career when she won the U.S. Open two weeks ago, also facing a formidable teenager in the final.

The afternoon began with Rosyita Eka Putri Sari looking to win back the women’s doubles title and taking new partner Della Destiara Haris (pictured above) along for the ride.  Haris had made the semi-finals here last year but in 2016, the two ladies made no mistake and won their final handily in straight games.

In the men’s singles final, Wong Wing Ki (pictured) of Hong Kong was fifth time lucky, after being unsuccessful in four previous Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold finals, going back to New Zealand in 2009, when he was one of the rare teenagers to reach a major men’s singles final.

“What a great match!” Wong wrote later on his Facebook page.  “It is a memorable and wonderful moment.

“Thanks for my parents, family, friends, coaches, fans and my opponent Chong Wei Feng.  We both enjoyed the match and gave it everything we had.”

Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing have had their close calls much more recently.  Runners-up at two Grand Prix Gold events this year, the #2 Malaysian pair saw off the challenge from Alfian Eko Prasetya / Annisa Saufika of Indonesia in straight games.

Former world #1 Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong were the only top seeds to make it to the finals.  But the Malaysian veterans were just no match for Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei / Lee Yang (pictured bottom), particularly once the match went to a third game.

The Vietnam Open was the last senior international event before the Rio Olympic Games.  While there were several Olympians in action this week in Ho Chi Minh City, none survived until finals day.  The most worrying of these were the mid-match retirements of both of the home shuttlers who are Rio bound, Nguyen Tien Minh and Vu Thi Trang.

Final results
WD:  Della Destiara Haris / Rosyita Eka Putri Sari (INA) [3] beat Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah Rizki Amelia Pradipta (INA) [5]  21-11, 21-15
MS:  Wong Wing Ki (HKG) [4] beat Chong Wei Feng (MAS) [11]  21-12, 14-21, 21-13
XD:  Tan Kian Meng / Lai Pei Jing (MAS) [3] beat Alfian Eko Prasetya / Annisa Saufika (INA) [4]  21-16, 21-11
WS:  Yeo Jia Min (SIN) beat Ayumi Mine (JPN)  21-14, 21-17
MD:  Lee Jhe-Huei / Lee Yang (TPE) [2] beat Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (MAS) [1]  18-21, 21-14, 21-7

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 @