Korean teen So-young's sensational win in New Zealand Open
***Image Credit: bwfworldtour.bwfbadminton.com
She is only 17 and An Se-young, the teenager from Korea won her first world tour title - with a sensational straight game 21-19, 21-15 win over China's 2012 London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui to clinch the women's singles in the New Zealand Open in Auckland on Sunday.
At the age of 28, 15th ranked Xuerui carried a wealth of experience against Se-young from Gwangju who became the first junior high school student in the Korean national team and donned national colors in the 2018 Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok where Korea won the bronze.
Se-young ranked 78, has now set her sights on the World Championships and the Olympics and the New Zealand Open is just the beginning for this Korean lass who does extra training on her own.
"I have been doing extra training on my own but I did not expect to win so early.
I am working hard and already playing against top players with more experience.
I aim to go to the World Championships and the Olympics," said the delighted Se-young after her win.
Korea also clinched the women's doubles when Kim Do-yeong-Kong Hee-yong when the unseeded pair upset reigning Olympic champions and number two seeds Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi 21-15, 21-18 in the 48-minute final.
Last year's runners-up Jonatan Christie, went one better this time when the Asian Games champion and third seed stopped Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China 21-12, 21-13.
The Indonesian also celebrated his first world tour title.
"This is a big breakthrough for me. I hope to win titles in the Super 500, the 750 and 1000.
My aim is to play in the Olympics," said the Indonesian.
Malaysian professionals, second seeds Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were involved in a marathon 85-minute encounter with Indonesia's fifth seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti before prevailing 21-14, 16-21, 29-27 for their second New Zealand Open title.
They also won in 2016.
"We never gave up even when we were down," said a delighted Peng Soon.
All-England champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, the second seeds, downed newly crowned Asian champions Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe of Japan 20-22, 21-15, 21-17 in a 67-minute thriller against the third seeds.
The USD150,000 New Zealand Open is the first tournament that offers the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying points.
The year-long Olympics qualifiers end with next year's Badminton Asian Championships in Wuhan in April.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (MAS) beat Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (INA) 21-14, 16-21, 29-27
Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (KOR) beat Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) 21-15, 21-18
Jonatan Christie (INA) beat Angus Ng Ka Long (HKG) 21-12, 21-13
An Se-young (KOR) beat Li Xuerui (CHN) 21-19, 21-15
Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (INA) beat Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (JPN) 20-22, 21-15, 21-17