Home2023FINALS: Can Korea Make History?

FINALS: Can Korea Make History?

At the first edition of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship in 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Korea qualified for the final round. Unfortunately, in the match held at the Nguyen Du Cultural Sport Club, February 19, Korea lost 0-3 to Japan.

 

Now in 2023, history is repeating itself. Korea is once again able to qualify for the final. The ticket was secured after Korea defeated Thailand with a score of 3-1 in the semifinal match of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship 2023 at the Dubai Exhibition, United Arab Emirates, Saturday (18/2/2023) local time.

 

In the final round which will be held on Sunday at the same place, Korea will meet China. The defending champions qualified for the final after struggling to beat India with a score of 3-2. Korea and China have met in the group stage at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship, where both of them were in Group A. China defeated Korea with a score of 3-2. 

 

However, In the final round, Korea's chance to win and win the championship remains open. Doubles is still the mainstay of the Korean team to win the Mixed Team Championship for the first time.

 

Korea's men's doubles pair, Kim Won Ho/Na Sung Seung, are considered to be better than the Chinese men's doubles pair, He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong. Even though they’re an impromptu couple, Kim Won Ho/Na Sung Seung is very solid. One of them is being able to beat world number one doubles from Indonesia Fajar Alfianto/Muhammad Rian Ardianto. The victory is one of the important factors, Korea can beat Indonesia. In fact, in the semifinal round, Kim Won Ho/Na Sung Seung again contributed points after Pharanyu Kaosamaang/Worrapol Thongsa-Nga, ranked 76th in the world. Kim Wo Ho himself is ranked 11th in the world. However, her real partner is Sol Gyu Choi. Seeing this, Kim Won Ho/Na Sung Seung has a very big chance of defeating He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong who is ranked 21st in the world. During the preliminary round, China did not field either of them. The country entrusts to Ren Xiang Yu/Tan Qiang who is ranked right below He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong, namely at 22.

 

Meanwhile, in the women's doubles, Korea also relies on an impromptu pair, Jeong Na Eun/Lee So Hee. Same with the men, this WD pair also always contribute numbers. In the semifinals against Thailand, Jeong Na Eun/Lee So Hee determined Korea's qualification for the final. They easily defeated the pair of sisters Benyapa Aimsard/Nuntakarn Aimsard 21-9, 21-7. In the last elimination, Korea did not field Jeong Na Eun/Lee So Hee, but Lee So Hee and Baek Ha Na, who is ranked 42nd in the world. While China in the elimination round featured Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning. At that time, the Korean pair won 21-16, 21-16. In the semifinals, Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning were fielded again and defeated by India's double Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand 18-21, 21-13, 19-21. 

 

Korea's points can also occur in singles. In the last preliminary round, their men's singles, Cho Geonyeop forced Chinese singles Zhao Jun Peng to compete for three games 21-11, 16-21, 22-24. The duration of their match is quite long, namely 1 hour 21 minutes. When competing against India in the Semifinal, China did not feature Zhao Jun Peng but Lei Lan Xi, who defeated India's mainstay Prannoy HS. By ranking Zhao Jun Peng is much better ranked, 12. Meanwhile Lei Lan Xi is at 121. Cho Geonyeop himself is the last world ranking, 230. Chao has met Zhao Jun Peng twice and always lost and has never met Lei Lan Xi.

 

In the women's singles, South Korea has Kim Ga Eun who is ranked above the Chinese women's singles who is often entrusted to Gao Fang Jie. Kim Ga Eun is ranked 20th and Gao Fang Jie is 101st. However, the two of them have met once before in the group A stage, namely in the 2018 Canada Open and Gao Fang Jie won. In addition, in the semifinals, Gao Fang Jie surprisingly defeated silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and bronze at the 2022 Tokyo Olympics Pusarla V. Sindhu. Calmness and physical strength will really determine the winner between Gao Fang Jie and Kim Ga Eun. 

 

In the last preliminary, Gao Fang Jie won two tight games, 22-20, 21-19. Well, Korea again lost numbers in the men's and women's singles but picking up a victory in the men's and women's doubles sector, the mixed doubles number will be very decisive. In the last preliminary round, the Chinese pair Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin defeated Kim Young Hyuk/Lee Yu Lim in a rubber game 17-21, 21-15, 21-13. It is possible that the two pairs will meet again because both of them won the trust in the semifinals. Only Kim Young Hyuk/Lee Yu Lim didn't go down because South Korea already won 3-1.

 

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