An Se Young has been rightly celebrated this season for her exploits, but another pair of shuttlers have quietly gone on about their business picking up an equally impressive number of titles.
Feng Yan Zhe and Huang Dong Ping won their sixth tournament of the season on Sunday at CLASH OF CLANS Arctic Open 2023 powered by YONEX – only An has more (nine) – by shrugging off young compatriots Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin 21-14 21-15 in 37 minutes.
Feng and Huang started as an experiment at last year’s Denmark Open. Fast forward a year, they return to Odense, where they were runners-up, as an established pair with six titles in tow. The world No.3s lead the HSBC Race to Finals rankings, sitting five rungs above their more storied compatriots Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong.
Huang, Tokyo Olympic gold medallist alongside previous partner Wang Yi Lyu, can feel their combination getting stronger at the conclusion of each assignment.
“Of course, winning makes us more confident as a pair,” she said after the prize presentation ceremony at Energia Arena. “With these titles, the trust between us grows.”
Although they didn’t drop a single game enroute to the crown, Feng says they were dissatisfied with their start in Vantaa, Finland but quickly addressed the shortcomings.
“We didn’t play that well the first couple of matches. We picked up from the quarterfinals and got our flow back, and that was down to improved on-court communication,” said the 22-year-old 2019 mixed doubles world junior champion.
Huang, who shared a six-year partnership with Wang, sees the current one going on for some time and is excited for the journey ahead.
“I’m really looking forward to a future of playing a lot of tournaments with Feng,” said the 28-year-old. “He’s still young and has a long path ahead of him and I would like to help him, be by his side as he flourishes,” she promised.
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