By Rizal Abdullah
Malaysia’s challenge in the USD600,000 Victor Korea Open Superseries came to an end in the semi-finals despite a fighting display from Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong in the men’s doubles and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the mixed doubles.
Rio Olympics silver medallists V Shem-Wee Kiong came unstuck against China’s rising pair – world junior champions Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen – in a 51 minute battle with the Chinese prevailing 18-21, 21-15, 21-13.
Junhui-Yuchen have been making such an impact in the Superseries that they are China’s next big names in the world of badminton. Last week they won the Yonex Japan Open after reaching their first final.
Malaysia’s number one mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who also won the silver in the event in the Rio Olympics, lost in a similar fashion after winning the first set against Rio Olympics bronze medallists Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na.
The Koreans won 15-21, 21-14, 21-15 to set up a final against Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen. The No 5 seeds saw off Hong Kong’s challenge from Reginald Lee Chun Hei-Chau Hoi Wah with a 21-16, 21-18 win.
The focus, however, was on defending men’s doubles champions and world No 1, Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong. The Korean fans will get to see their idol in action for a final fling in the Korea Open after he announced that this will be his last international tournament.
It will be a fitting farewell to their idol if Yong-dae-Yeon-seong if they can retain the title. The crack Korean pair stormed to the final with with a straight sets 21-11, 21-16 win over China’s Huang Kaixaing-Wang Yiulyu in the semi-finals.
Yong-dae-Yeon-seong will play China’s Japan Open winners Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in the final.
The men’s singles final will feature No 6 seed Son Wan-ho who was fully stretched by compatriot Lee Hyun Il before winning 21-13, 14-21, 21-12 in 63 minutes. Wan-ho will play China’s Qiao Bin who downed Hong Kong’s Vincent Wong Wing Ki 21-18, 21-16 in 53 minutes.
Women’s singles defending champion Sung Ji-hyun stayed on track with an easy 21-5, 21-10 win over her younger teammate Kim Hyo-min and will meet Japan’s No 7 seed Akane Yamaguchi – 21-17, 21-11 winner over Minatsu Mitani in an all-Japan semi-final.
The women’s doubles final will feature Rio bronze medallists Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan against the Luo sisters from China – Luo Ying and Luo Yu.
RESULTS (All Semi-Finals)
Son Wan-ho (Kor) beat Lee Hyun Il (Kor) 21-13, 14-21, 21-10
Qiao Bin (Chn) beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) 21-18, 21-16
Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) beat Huang Kaixiang-Wang Yilyu (Chn) 21-11, 21-16
Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) beat Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 18-21, 21-15, 21-13
Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) beat Kim Hyo-min (Kor) 21-5, 21-16
Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) beat Minatsu Mitani (Jpn) 21-17, 21-11
Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) beat Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 23-21, 21-15
Luo Ying-Luo Yu (Chn) beat Christinna Pedersen–Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) 21-15, 17-21, 21-12
Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) beat Reginald Lee Chun Hei-Chau Hoi Wah (Hkg) 21-16, 21-18
Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na (Kor) beat Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 15-21, 21-14, 21-15