BADMINTON: Japan wins three, Zhang claims silver in Korea Open

U.S. Badminton star Beiwen Zhang

A powerful Japanese entry won medals in four of the five events in the Victor Korea Open, taking the men’s and women’s Doubles title and the women’s Singles title.

The Singles matches drew the most attention, however, with Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chen Chou winning his third tournament of the season, defeating Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the final in straight sets, 21-13, 21-16.

The women’s Singles final pitted Japan’s no. 8-ranked Nozomi Okuhara against no. 12-ranked Beiwen Zhang (pictured) of the U.S. They split the first two sets and then Okuhara picked up the pace against Zhang in the final set and won, 21-16, improving to 5-0 all-time against Zhang.

“I used to be impatient while playing her,” said Zhang. “Today I was more patient. I think my performance was good. My stamina isn’t at her level, she can run longer than me, and her stamina is better than mine.”

It was another good tournament for Zhang, and her third medal on the BWF World Tour for 2018, the best performance of her career. Coming into the season, she had only one career medal in the BWF Superseries, from 2016. She should move up again in next week’s World Rankings.

In all, Japan won nine medals and went 1-2 in the men’s Doubles and 1-2-3-4 in the women’s Doubles! The World Tour heads to Taipei City (TPE) next week, where Chou will be a big favorite in front of home fans. Summaries:

BWF World Tour/Korea Open
Seoul (KOR) ~ 25-30 September 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Singles: 1. Tien Chen Chou (TPE); 2. Tommy Sugiarto (INA); 3. Kenta Nishimoto (JPN) and Jonatan Christie (INA). Semis: Chou d. Nishmoto, 19-21, 21-18, 21-14; Sugiarto d. Christie, 21-13, 22-20. Final: Chou d. Sugiarto, 21-13, 21-16.

Men’s Doubles: 1. Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (JPN); 2. Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi (JPN); 3. Sol-Gyu Choi/Seung-Jae Seo (KOR) and Kah Ming Chooi/Juan Shen Low (MAS). Semis: Hoki/Kobayashi d. Choi/Seo, 21-11, 21-14; Endo/Watanabe d. Chooi/Low, 21-13, 21-12. Final: Endo/Watanabe d. Hoki/Kobayashi, 9-21, 21-15, 21-10.

Women’s Singles: 1. Nozomi Okuhara (JPN); 2. Beiwen Zhang (USA); 3. Ji Hyun Sung (KOR) and Akane Yamaguchi (JPN). Semis: Zhang d. Sung, 21-18, 21-19; Okuhara d. Yamaguchi, 16-21, 21-17, 21-14. Final: Okuhara d. Zhang, 21-10, 17-21, 21-16.

Women’s Doubles: 1. Misaki Matsumoto/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN); 2. Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN); 3. Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao (JPN) and Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto (JPN). Semis: Fukushima/Hirota d. Fukuman/Yonao, 21-15, 21-12; Matsumoto/Takahashi d. Tanaka/Yonemoto, 21-10, 21-11. Final: Matsumoto/Takahashi d. Fukushima/Hirota, 21-11, 21-18.

Mixed Doubles: 1. Jiting He/Yue Du (CHN); 2. Mathias Christiansen/Christinna Pedersen (DEN); 3. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA) and Seung-Jae Seo/Yu-Jung Chae (KOR). Semis: He/Du d. Puavaranukroh/Taerattanchai, 21-19, 21-11; Christiansen/Pedersen d. Seo/Chae, 20-22, 21-13, 21-15. Final: He/Du d. Christiansen/Pedersen, 21-18, 21-16.