Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong narrowly missed out on a spot at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2019 after they lost a tense final at the Gwangju Korea Masters 2019 yesterday to Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin.
At the start of the tournament, three pairs were in contention of the two places in men’s doubles – Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han (Chinese Taipei), Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (Malaysia) and Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (Malaysia).
Lu/Yang needed a first-round win to clinch their place in the Finals, which they did by beating local pair Kang Min Hyuk/Kim Jae Hwan.
It was then between the two Malaysian pairs. Goh/Tan, who started the event 3,490 points behind their compatriots, needed to finish three rounds ahead of Chia/Soh to clinch the eighth and final spot in the Race to Guangzhou Rankings.
They were given a lifeline when Chia/Soh fell in the second round to Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin (18-21 21-15 21-15) – but that meant Goh/Tan had to win the Korea Masters.
The Malaysians nearly pulled it off. They beat Kim Gi Jung/Lee Yong Dae in the second round, young Chinese pair Di Zi Jian/Wang Chang in the quarterfinals, and recent Hong Kong Open champions Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae in the semi-finals – all in three games.
They staged a dramatic escape from two match points down to Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin in the final, only to ultimately fall narrowly from 19-all in the third game to the Chinese Taipei pair, 21-19 20-22 21-19.
An Upstages Sung
In women’s singles, An Se Young beat senior compatriot Sung Ji Hyun for the first time in four matches, 21-13 21-17. The fastest-rising star in badminton, just 17 years old, picked up the fifth title of the season with another sensational week during which she did not drop a game in five matches.
An beat Aya Ohori, Wang Zhi Yi, Sim Yu Jin, Akane Yamaguchi and Sung Ji Hyun in straight games.
Tsuneyama overcame Kidambi Srikanth in the second round, qualifier Kim Donghyun in the quarterfinals, and Lu Guang Zu in the last four.
Relief for Tang/Tse
The fifth seeds enjoyed a strong run during the week, not dropping a game in five matches.
Women’s doubles was an all-Japan clash, with Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida stopping their seniors Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi 15-21 21-17 21-18 for their second title of the year after the US Open. Matsutomo/Takahashi’s loss meant that they haven’t won a title since the Indonesia Masters in January.