Ahn Se-young defeats ‘nemesis’ Chen Yuefei to reach first final in 30 years…first Korean badminton title in history (Total)

South Korean women’s badminton sensation and World No. 1 Ahn Se-young (21, Samsung Life Insurance) has reached the final of the World Championships after defeating her “nemesis” Chen Yufei (China, World No. 3).

Ahn defeated Chen Yuefei 2-0 (21-19 21-15) in the women’s singles semifinals of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Individual Championships 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday (June 26).

At last year’s World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Ahn reached the quarterfinals. This year, she came back even better and punched her ticket to the final for the first time in her career.

With seven top-10 finishes on the BWF World Tour this year, Ahn has become the world No. 1. She is the first South Korean player to be ranked No. 1 in women’s singles in 27 years.

Ahn Se-young is making badminton history in South Korea, and at the World Championships, she’ll be looking to add to her list of accomplishments. No South Korean player has ever won a men’s or women’s singles title at a World Championships. Ahn enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after being ranked No. 1 in the world and is just one win away from the title.

Ahn has faced Chen Yufei seven times this year, and while she still holds a 6-10 head-to-head record, she has completely shaken off the “nemesis jinx” with a 5-2 lead this year.

No Korean badminton player has ever won the men’s or women’s singles title at the World Championships. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist reached the final in Birmingham, England, in 1993, but lost to “Indonesia’s national hero Susi Susanti, but had to settle for silver.

Lee won a bronze medal at the 1991 Copenhagen Games. Hwang Soo-hyun won bronze in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1995, and Bae Yeon-joo won bronze in Guangzhou, China, in 2013. Ahn Se-young, who had to settle for a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships, will try to make history by reaching the final 30 years after Hwang.

Early in the first set, Ahn converted a variety of attacks into points to take a 5-1 lead. Chen Yufei gradually closed the gap and tied the score at 16-16 midway through the set. At this point, Ahn forced her opponent to commit an error with a hairpin and added a point with a fierce smash to go up 19-16.

However, Chen Yufei didn’t back down easily and rallied to 19-20. Faced with the prospect of conceding a deuce, Ahn fought a rally and put the shuttle into the empty court to take the first set.

In the second set, Ahn was the first to cross the 10-point threshold at 9-9, but Chen Yufei scored back-to-back points at 9-11 to turn the tide. A tense battle ensued and the two exchanged points until 15-15.

In the deciding game, Ahn used her “net defense” to nullify Chen Yufei’s counterattacks. At 18-15, she broke her opponent’s will with a surprise attack. With the victory in hand, Ahn took the second set to advance to the final.

Ahn’s final opponent is Carolina Marin (30, Spain, World No. 6). Marin defeated Akane Yamaguchi (JPN, World No. 1) 2-0 (23-21 21-13) to win her third straight World Championships title.

Marin, who won the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, is the first non-Asian to win an Olympic badminton women’s singles gold medal. In addition to her podium finish in Rio de Janeiro, Marin is a three-time world champion.

Her reign as badminton’s most dominant women’s singles player was cut short when she underwent surgery on her left knee. However, she bounced back to win her sixth title at last year’s European Championships. This year, she re-entered the top 10 and reached No. 6 in the world rankings.

Earlier in the mixed doubles semifinals, Seo Seung-jae (26, Samsung Life Insurance) and Chae Yoo-jung (28, Incheon International Airport) advanced to the final with a 2-0 (21-15 21-13) victory over Japan’s Yuka Watanabe and Arisa Higashino.

World No. 5 Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yoo-jung have played Watanabe-Higashino 10 times, winning four and losing six. By defeating Japanese mixed doubles stalwarts Watanabe-Higashino in four years, Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung booked their first World Championship final appearance.

They will be the first Korean pair to reach the top of the mixed doubles standings at the World Championships since Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min in 2003.

Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung will face the ‘world’s strongest’ pair of Zhang Shiwei and Huang Yachong (China, World No. 1) for the title.

Kim So-young (31, Incheon International Airport) and Gong Hee-yong (27, Jeonbuk Bank), runners-up in the women’s doubles at last year’s World Championships, lost 0-2 (9-21 20-22) to Indonesia’s Afriyani Rahayu and Citi Padia Silva Ramadanti in the semifinals.

Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong, who have reached the top of the BWF World Tour four times this year, were one of the favorites to win the women’s doubles title at the event. They were runners-up at last year’s World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. However, their power and speed were not enough to overcome the Japanese pair of Rahayu and Ramadanti.

They didn’t win an international tournament this year and are ranked 12th in the world. But they did win gold in women’s doubles at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. They have the speed and power to match their male counterparts and swept the world No. 2 pair of Lee So-hee (29, Incheon International Airport) and Baek Hana (23, MG Saemaul) 2-0 in the round of 16.

Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong came out firing on all cylinders, but were outplayed by Rahayu and Lamidanti throughout the match and failed to reach the final for the second consecutive year.

In the men’s doubles quarterfinals, Kang Min-hyuk (24, Samsung Life Insurance)-Seo Seung-jae will face Malaysia’s Aaron Chia-Soh Woo-yin for a spot in the final.

Meanwhile, SPOTV, SPOTV ON and sports OTT service SPOTV NOW will provide satellite coverage of the BWF Badminton World Championships final. It will also be broadcast live on SPOTV ASIA. SPOTV Asia is broadcast in 13 countries across the Southeast Asian region and offers a wide range of content including tennis Grand Slam events Wimbledon and the US Open, men’s professional tennis ATP Tour, motorcycle racing event MotoGP, World Table Tennis (WTT) table tennis events, BWF badminton events and the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Sport Climbing World Cup. 메이저놀이터






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