IT was a thrilling finale as the All England Open Badminton Championships ended with Indonesia emerging as big winners while Spain’s Carolina Marin prevented all-Asian winners in badminton’s oldest tournament in Birmingham.

Jonatan Christie ended Indonesia’s 30-year title drought in the men’s singles with 55-minute straight sets of 21-15, 21-14 win over teammate and former roommate, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Hariyanto Arbi last won the title for Indonesia in 1994.

Men’s doubles defending champions Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (seventh seed) were in great form, emerging victorious for the second consecutive time to keep Indonesia’s domination intact in the men’s doubles for the third consecutive year. To date, Indonesia emerged as the second biggest winner, winning 24 men’s doubles titles since their first win in 1972 through Christian Hadinata/Ade Chandra.

The pair downed fifth seed Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia 21-16, 21-16 in the finals.

“It’s amazing that we’ve won two titles in this year’s All-England…we hope to keep pushing and to better our performance in the coming tournaments,” said Fajar Alfian.

Meanwhile, it was a heartbreaking moment for Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, forced to retire and abandon her second game against Carolina Marin, who prevented all-Asian winners in the finals.

Marin had a good run throughout the tournament, defeating the likes of top Asian stars including Chen Yufei and Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan before facing Yamaguchi in the finals. It was the Spaniard’s second All-England title since her maiden trophy in 2015.

Marin nicked the first game 26-24 before claiming the honours half-way in the second game following Yamaguchi’s hip injury which forced her to retire at 11-1.

“I’m happy because this is the way that I have to keep going, so I want to keep the focus in the right way and just do new things when I have to play any game,” Marin was quoted as saying, adding that this year’s Paris Olympics remains as her major her focus.

A new winner emerged in the women’s doubles, with Baek Ha-Na/Lee So-hee following the footsteps of 2023 winners Kim So-Yeong/Kong Hee-yong to give Korea its second consecutive title.

The Korean pair triumphed over 2022 champions Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in a marathon 90-minute battle (21-19, 11-21, 21-17) to earn them their first All-England title in Birmingham.
As expected, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong put up a strong show to dominate and faced little resistance from second seed Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino in the mixed doubles finals. The Chinese pair took their second consecutive All-England title after defeating the Watanabe/Higashino 21-16, 21-11 in just 38 minutes. China had won 15 mixed doubles titles since Wang Pengren/Shi Fanjing lifted their first victory in 1988.


Most Popular