Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang finally broke through against their senior compatriots to enter the title round of the BWF World Superseries Finals today.
The duo had never beaten fellow Koreans Lee Yong Dae and Ko Sung Hyun in five earlier meetings, including losses at the Badminton Asia Championships and India Open Superseries earlier this year. A combination of good form and a break in the partnership of Lee and Ko helped power them to a 21-14 19-21 21-16 victory in the Men’s Doubles semi-finals – with a shot at clinching their first Superseries Finals title. Tomorrow finale will be the duo’s fifth this year.
“Having three good pairs in Korea is good because of the rivalry in the team,” said Kim Sa Rang. “Our momentum is high and we want to take it into the next season.”
On their defeat of Ko and Lee, he said: “They don’t play together now and haven’t practised together so the combination is not as good as before.”
The pair (below) would prefer to face Indonesians, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, in the final as they were beaten by the World champions and top seeds in the group stage and fancy a chance at revenge.
The Kims’ Women’s Doubles team-mates, Jang Ye Na and Kim So Young, faltered in their semi-final against Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl, 21-12 21-18. The Danes are in such a rich vein of form that they overturned a deficit of 3-12 in the second game. They take on Ma Jin/Tang Jinhua (China) in the title match which will see new champions crowned. Three-time winners, Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, withdrew from their semi-final against their compatriots (Ma /Tang) with Yu Yang suffering a hip injury.
* There was more disappointment for Korea as Bae Yeon Ju lost her Women’s Singles semi-final to defending champion Li Xuerui (BWF home page), 21-15 21-9. The left-handed Korean scrambled around to force long rallies but Li’s superior attack and stroke-making ability ensured she was never in any trouble. The Chinese star won 12 of the last 13 points but credited Bae despite her dominant performance.
“Although the points looked easy, it was quite tough,” she noted. “Since we played the group match, Bae was probably better prepared today. My form is not yet at its peak. I had an allergy in the second half of the year which affected my training. The schedule has been hectic because of the China league and I need time to recover.”
* The most awaited match by home fans – Lee Chong Wei (above; right) against Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen (above; left) – ended as per popular expectation, with a straight-games win for the three-time champion, 21-14 21-16. Jorgensen had troubled Lee in their previous match, having lost it narrowly at 23-21 24-22, but the favourite helped himself to a lead in the beginning and allowed Jorgensen few opportunities. The Dane was impressive in patches, but overall, Lee was sharper and more precise with his attack. The performance was typical Lee Chong Wei – fluid movement, explosive jump smashes and dominance at net – leaving Jorgensen wondering how to break through against his formidable foe.
“He took a lead in both games and I was fighting from behind,” Jorgensen said. “I don’t think I played badly. There was a bit more drift in the hall today and he controlled the shuttle better. The difference between us today was mainly that tactically he was better.”
For all the day’s results, click here.