'Tomyam' delight for Thailand in Korea Open
(*credit image: Bangkok Post)
Thailand's World No 3 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai displayed astonishing badminton to upset China's World No 1 and top seeds Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong in straight games 21-14, 21-13 to win the mixed doubles title in the USD400,000 Korea Open in Incheon on Sunday.
It was only their second win over the crack Chinese pair in 10 meetings.
Just last month the Chinese had beaten the Thais 21-8, 21-12 to retain their title in the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
Apart from pocketing USD31,600 in prize money, the Thai pair gave strong signals that they will be strong contenders for the gold medal in the coming SEA Games to be held in the Philippines in November.
This is their second world tour title this year after winning the Singapore Open earlier this year.
Incidentally, the Thai pair had beaten Siwei-Yaqiong in the semi-finals in the Singapore Open.
"We went into the match without thinking about the results of our previous matches.
We had a game plan and stuck to it," said Sapsiree.
The win also made up for the disappointment in the women's singles when former World No 1 Ratchanok Intanon was beaten by China's He Bingjiao in the final.
What hurt Ratchanok most was that she had four match points to clinch the title but deserted her after she had used up both her challenges and the shuttle was called out.
The Hawk's eye later revealed that the shuttle was in fact.
Bingjiao rode on her luck to clinch the title with an 18-21, 24-22, 21-17 in 75 minutes and went home USD30,000 richer.
The loser pocked USD15,200. The win also ended a three-year title drought for Bingjiao.
Earlier in the men's singles, Japan's World No 1 and top seed Kento Momota smashed his way to a 21-19, 21-17 win over defending champion and second-ranked Chou Tien Chen of Chinese in 53 minutes.
It was Momota's eighth title in nine finals this year and won the China Open a week earlier.
Indonesia's Fajar Alifian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto, the No 6 seeds defeated Japan's No 4 seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 21-16, 21-17 for the men's doubles title in 39 minutes to earn USD31,600 in prize money.
Korea won the women's doubles title with Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong needing three games to beat compatriots Lee So Hee-Shin Seung Chan 13-21, 21-19, 21-17 in an 80 minute thriller.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong (KOR) beat Lee So Hee-Shin Seung Chan (KOR) 13-21, 21-19, 21-17
Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INA) beat Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (JPN) 21-16, 21-17
Kento Momota (JPN) beat Chou Tien Chen (TPE) 21-19, 21-17
He Bing Jiao (CHN) beat Ratchanok Intanon (THA) 18-21, 24-22, 21-17
Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA) beat Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (CHN) 21-14, 21-13