Home2023Day 4: Korea and Thailand's Surprise to the Semifinal

Day 4: Korea and Thailand’s Surprise to the Semifinal

Indonesia has let go of the chance to be the winner of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship this year. In this year’s tournament, Indonesia's steps stopped early. Indonesia, the third seed which was predicted to penetrate the semifinals, got defeated by Korea with a score of 3-1 in the quarterfinals which was held at the Dubai Exhibition Center, United Arab Emirates, on Friday afternoon local time (18/2/2023).

 

Indonesia had a great chance to win this year’s Asian Mixed Team Championship. In the first match where men's singles were contested, Chico Aura Wardoyo ranked 18th in the world, won in straight games 17-21, 16-21 over Lee Yun Gyu, ranked 239th. The match between the two players lasted 45 minutes. This victory also avenged Chico's defeat in the 2015 Korea Junior.

  

However, Korea was able to equalize its score with its opponent. The country's women's singles, Kim Ga Eun, ranked 20th, won a rubber game 21-17, 14-21, 21-12 over Putri Kusuma Wardani, ranked 41st. Both of them previously met at the 2022 Asian Championships. 

 

Kim Ga Eun's victory added to the enthusiasm of her colleagues. The impromptu pair Kim Won Ho/Na Sung Seung surprisingly defeated world number one men's doubles Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto with three games 16-21, 21-13, 21-16 in a match that took 59 minutes. Usually, Kim Won Ho is paired with Sol Gyu Choi and is ranked 11th in the world. Meanwhile, Na Sung Seung usually pairs with Yong Jin who is currently ranked 64th in the world.

 

South Korea made sure to qualify for the semifinals through the women's doubles pair. The pair Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee won easily in two games 21-14, 21-9 over Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti. In terms of ranking, actually, Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee is only ranked 42nd. Meanwhile, Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadiah is far above. But on the field, the difference in ranking is not a guarantee.

 

With a score of 3-1, Korea qualified for the semifinals where they will meet Thailand. In the quarter-finals, Thailand beat the second seed, Japan, with a score of 3-2. Thailand immediately led 2-0 after winning two singles.

 

Thai men's singles Sitthikom Thammasin, ranked 33rd, won 21-16, 21-13 over Koki Watanabe, ranked 41st. The victory also avenged Sitthikom Thammasin's defeat at the 2022 Australian Open. In women's singles, Busanan Ongbamrungphan defeated Aya Ohori 21-19, 18 -21, 21-17. This match took a long duration, 1 hour and 20 minutes. Currently, Ongbamrungphan is ranked 12th in the world and Ohori is ranked 33rd. However, before today's meeting, Ohori had a better record. She won six times in nine matches.

 

Japan was even able to equalize the position of the men's doubles and women's doubles. The Japanese men's doubles pair, Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, the world's fourth-ranked pair, only needed 34 minutes to defeat the Thai doubles Pharanyu Kaosamaang/Worrapol Thongsa-Nga, the world's 76th-ranked pair, 21-17, 21-12.

 

Japan widened their chances of going to the semifinals through the victory of the women's doubles pair Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi, ranked 16th in the world, winning 19-21, 17-21 over Thai sibling pair, Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsard.

 

However, Thailand was able to beat Japan after the mixed doubles of Pakkapon Teeraratsakul/Phataimas Muenwong, ranked 220th, won 21-16, 17-21, 21-14 over Hiroki Midorikawa/Natsu Saito. In 2019, Japan was a finalist and Thailand stopped in the last eight. Japan was defeated by China 2-3 and Thailand was also defeated by China 0-3.

 

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