Thailand Open: ‘We Didn’t Expect to Win’

Seasoned pros Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang are not quite done with making waves on the HSBC BWF World Tour.

At the Nimibutr Stadium yesterday, the Koreans rolled back the years to send men’s doubles second seeds Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana packing from the TOYOTA Thailand Open 2024, and surprised themselves in the process.

“We didn’t expect to win so we were quite relaxed going on to the court. That helped,” said the 34-year-old Sa Rang after winning 22-20 21-13.

“Because we had a match yesterday, we were able to adapt to the conditions, which were favourable to us. We adapted to the shuttle speed and everything faster than our opponents so we started believing we could win and became more focused.”

Gi Jung, 33, added: “We always play to our strengths regardless of the opponents. We try not to adapt to their tactics. That worked out well.”

Sa Rang/Gi Jung used their experience to subdue the younger Indonesians.

The Kims, unrelated to each other, have been around the badminton circuit since the noughties and as a pair bagged some of the most important titles the sport has to offer, including the Asia Championships, Indonesia Open and China Open, reaching a career-high world No.2 in 2016. They split the same year but reunited post COVID three years ago.

With most of their peers now retired, how long more do they see themselves going?

“We just want to focus on the upcoming tournaments in Malaysia (Masters) and Singapore (Open),” answered Sa Rang. “We don’t have long-term goals as we are independent players. Let’s see where this journey takes us.”

Gi Jung asserted: “We are still very much full-time shuttlers, we train at our clubs daily. Badminton still matters to us.”

After getting back together, Gi Jung/Sa Rang won the Korea Masters in 2022 on the World Tour. Lying 106th on the world rankings, they currently have four Korean men’s pairs above them, including world champions Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae.

Their quarterfinals opponents from Chinese Taipei, Chiang Chien Wei/Wu Hsuan Yi, whom they have never faced, are also 39 spots in front of them.

Results (Day 3)

Order of play (Day 4)


“My desire for perfection set me back. I wanted to be flawless in every rally only to end up making too many mistakes. I’m trying to move away from that.” – Lee Chia Hao on why it’s taken him eight months to reach a Super 500 quarterfinal

“You’ve got to have faith in yourself and your game. It’s not over until it’s over. I kept fighting, I kept believing.” – Lu Guang Zu after coming from 18-12 behind in the rubber game to beat Koki Watanabe

“I needed to be brave. I just went for it in the third game.” – Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi on defeating the higher-ranked Sim Yu Jin

“Playing in my hometown, I just want to be happy. I don’t want to put pressure on myself, I’ve worked hard, I want to take away good memories from this event.” – Jongkolphan Kititharakul

Dewi celebrating the win with her coach Indra Wijaya.

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