3 former #1s back out, 1 still can’t get into Korea Open

Former world #1 shuttlers Huang Dongping, Srikanth Kidambi, and Mathias Boe /  Carsten Mogensen all withdrew on the eve of the 2018 Korea Open but 2014 World Champions Ko Sung […]

Former world #1 shuttlers Huang Dongping, Srikanth Kidambi, and Mathias Boe /  Carsten Mogensen all withdrew on the eve of the 2018 but 2014 World Champions Ko Sung Hyun /Shin Baek Cheol were left waiting in the wings as the best of the badminton world prepare for a third straight week of -plus action for the third time this year.

Photos: Badmintonphoto

Upon completion of the Team Managers’ meeting in Seoul this evening, the draws were updated for the Korea Open Super 500 event.  Hardest hit was the women’s doubles event.  Former mixed doubles world #1 Huang Dongping was not entered in mixed but was slated to play level doubles with regular partner Li Wenmei.  The withdrawal of Huang and Li – who played one match at home last week after withdrawing from the Japan Open a week earlier – was not the biggest void, however.  2015 winner Greysia Polii and partner Apriyani Rahayu, semi-finalists at both the Japan and China Opens, also backed out, along with former Vietnam Open champions Chayanit Chaladchalam / Phataimas Muenwong and two Korean pairs.

Men’s doubles lost three-time winners Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen, as expected, given the veterans’ withdrawal from the China Open last week.  That void will be filled by Korea’s Seo Seung Jae and Choi Sol Gyu.  Choi and Seo have been entered as a pair 7 times this year but this will be only their second time making it off the reserve list.  Left stranded at #2 on the reserve list and thus going nowhere are 2014 World Champions Ko Sung Hyun (pictured above, with Mathias Boe) and Shin Baek Cheol.  Coming off a disappointing loss on Sunday in their second Super 100 final of the year, Ko and Shin would have been making their first appearance in an international event in Korea since the 2015 Korea Masters.

Seo and Choi will be joining a talent-packed men’s doubles field with Denmark’s two other pairs, including newly-crowned China Open champions Kim Astrup / Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, as well as Korean veterans Lee Yong Dae / Kim Gi Jung (pictured right).  Along with Lee and Kim’s opener against former All England champs Ivanov/Sozonov, the first round highlight will probably be China Open runners-up Han Chengkai / Zhou Haodong against top seeds Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda of Japan.

Men’s singles lost former world #1 Srikanth Kidambi of India and Spain Masters winner Rasmus Gemke and a trio of qualifiers, while mixed lost only the injured Kim Hye Rin and her partner and the women’s singles draw should proceed intact.  Men’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles will all feature both the World Champion and the world #1, the same pair holding both distinctions in mixed doubles only.  Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong are also one of two Asian Games gold medallists in action this week, along with Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.  Before Huang and Zheng take the stage on Tuesday afternoon, however, fans who make their way to the SK Handball Gymnasium on the Chuseok holiday will be treated to a performance by former Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui.  Li will take on India’s Mugdha Agrey to decide who will proceed to the main draw to face Gao Fangjie, who was a winner down in Gwangju on her last visit to Korea.

Click here for live Korea Open 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 @ badzine.net