The BWF World Senior Championships 2023 concluded in Jeonju on Sunday with several former greats featuring among the winners.
The championships saw 1260 participants competing in 10 age categories with 50 gold medals at stake.
Olympics and World Championships winner Tony Gunawan (USA) partnered Olympic silver medallist Tri Kusharjanto to the men’s doubles 45 title. Interestingly, Kusharjanto’s Olympic silver and World Championships bronze were in mixed doubles. Gunawan was Kusharjanto’s teammate in Indonesia before he relocated to the USA in 2001, after which he won his World Championships gold in 2005.
Another teammate, Marleve Mainaky, Indonesia Open 2001 champion, returned with a double. Mainaky beat England’s Carl Jennings in the men’s singles 50 final before partnering 1995 men’s singles champion Harijanto Arbi for the men’s doubles 50 crown.
Other notable Indonesian winners were Alvent Yulianto Chandra/Fran Kurniawan, who took gold in the men’s doubles 35.
Korea’s Chung So Young, women’s doubles champion at badminton’s first Olympics in 1992, teamed up with Chung Gil Soon for the women’s doubles 55 title.
China’s Xiong Guobao, winner of several Grand Prix titles, partnered Hong Kong China’s Zhou Xin for the mixed doubles 60 crown.
While there were a few double titlists, the only one to win three titles was Sweden’s Jan-Eric Antonsson. The Swede first won the mixed doubles 55 with Denmark’s Hanne Bertelsen and then captured the men’s singles 60 beating Chinese Taipei’s Chang Wen Sung, before returning for his men’s doubles 60 with Denmark’s Jan Bertram Petersen.
While his first two gold medals came in straight games, Antonsson had to work harder for his third. The Swedish-Danish duo overcame Uuri Setiawan Santosa/Simbarsono Sutanto 21-12 15-21 21-10.
Apart from Marleve Mainaky, there were eight players who won a double. They included Gry Uhrenholt Hermansen (Denmark), Drifa Hardardottir (Iceland), England’s Betty Bartlett, Mary Jenner and Jim Garrett, and Thailand’s Jakrapan Thanathiratham and Peeraya Munkitamorn.
Joko Suprianto, 1993 world champion and twice World Cup winner, won bronze in men’s singles 55.