China and Korea bade farewell to the SCG BWF World Junior Championships 2013 in triumphant fashion yesterday – each winning two individual titles – while Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi underlined her blossoming credentials.
A week after celebrating victory in the team event, Korea wrested the Men’s Singles and Women’s Doubles championships in the individual Eye Level Cups competition at Hua Mark Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Heo Kwang Hee (centre below: Men’s Singles presentation ceremony), seeded 5-8, comfortably defeated Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, 21-11 21-12 to be acclaimed the best male junior badminton player. It was also another remarkable afternoon for his team-mates, Chae Yoo Jung and Kim Ji Won (BWF home page), who upended No. 2 seeds, Chen Qingchen and He Jiaxin of China, to capture the Women’s Doubles title. The Korean pair (seeded 5-8) – who had sealed their team’s Suhandinata Cup success the previous Sunday – won 21-19 21-15.
It marked a hat-trick of Women’s Doubles titles for Korea, following the repeat victories of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan in 2011 and 2012. Including 2008 – when Singaporean pair Fu Mingtian and Yao Lei prevailed – this was only the fourth occasion since the inception of the BWF World Junior Championships in 1992 that a non-Chinese duo rose to the pinnacle of Women’s Doubles at the tournament.
Despite her Women’s Doubles’ loss, Chen partnered Huang Kaixiang to the Mixed Doubles crown (centre below: receiving trophy from BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer) over their Indonesian rivals, Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Masita Mahmudin. The hard-fought 21-18 20-22 23-21 result must have been a gratifying measure of revenge for the Chinese who fell to the Indonesians in the decisive match of their Suhandinata Cup semi-final the weekend before.
In the last match of the day, Huang was unable to replicate his winning ways as he and Zheng Si Wei perished 14-21 21-13 22-20 to their Chinese team-mates, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, in the Men’s Doubles final.
Akane Yamaguchi of Japan – already a BWF World Superseries winner – stole the Women’s Singles spotlight, cruising to top place on the podium over her compatriot, Aya Ohori. Surely any lingering disappointment over losing last year’s final to another Japanese, Nozomi Okuhara, would have evaporated with Yamaguchi’s 21-11 21-13 blitz (centre below: Yamaguchi and presentation party).
A number of officials from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the Badminton Association of Thailand attended the finals and presented prizes, including current BWF President, Poul-Erik Høyer, and immediate past BWF President, Dr. Kang Young Joong. Thanks to an incentive introduced by Dr. Kang, all medallists at the BWF World Junior Championships for the next 11 years will receive funding from the BWF President’s Fund, in the form of scholarships, to propel their badminton development. This year’s medallists are the inaugural recipients of those prizes.
For all results from the SCG BWF World Junior Championships – Eye Level Cups, click here.
Amounts awarded to BWF World Junior Championships medallists
Men’s Doubles medallists
Women’s Singles medallists
Mixed Doubles medallists
Women’s Doubles medallists