|Lee Yong-dae (left) and Ko Sung-hyun acknowledge the crowd after their win. (Yonhap News)|
Host South Korea earned titles in the men’s doubles and women’s singles at the Korea Open badminton tournament here Sunday.
The men’s badminton doubles duo of Lee Yong-dae and Ko Sung-hyun rallied to topple the world’s No. 1-ranked pair, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, 19-21, 21-13, 21-10 for their first Korea Open championship together.
Lee and Ko, ranked 10th in the world, avenged their loss to the Danes at the China Open final last November.
In the women’s singles final later Sunday, unseeded Sung Ji-hyun stunned the defending champion Wang Shixian of China 21-12, 22-20.
Sung is the first South Korean to win the women’s singles title at the Korea Open since Jun Jae-youn in 2005.
|Sung Ji-hyun celebrates the women’s singles title. (Yonhap News)|
The Korea Open is the world’s most lucrative badminton tournament this year with $1 million in total prize money. It is one of five Super Series Premier events run by the Badminton World Federation, along with the Indonesia Open, the Denmark Open, All England Open and the China Open.
At last year’s Korea Open, the host country failed to win any title, while China claimed four of the five events.
After trading the first two sets in the men’s doubles final, Lee and Ko capitalized on a series of mistakes by their opponents in a thrilling duel that lasted just over an hour.
The South Koreans clung to a 13-10 lead in the third set, and then scored eight consecutive points, most of them off the Danes’ unforced errors, to clinch the title before the delighted home crowd.
In the final of the women’s singles, Sung was down 6-2 early in the first set. Up 10-9, Sung poured in five unanswered points to blow open the set.
Then in the decisive second set, Sung turned a 9-4 deficit into a 10-9 advantage in a hurry. Trailing 19-15, Wang, No. 5 in the world, forced Sung into a deuce before conceding the final two points and the match.
The previous three women’s singles titles at the Korea Open had gone to a Chinese player. (Yonhap News)