Badminton’s Ahn Se-young (21-Samsung Life) overcame an injury setback to become the first South Korean to win the women’s singles title at the Asian Games in 29 years.
The world No. 1 defeated world No. 3 Chen Yufei (CHN) 2-1 (21-18 17-21 21-8) in the women’s badminton singles final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday at Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
It was only the second time a South Korean athlete has won the women’s singles title at an Asian Games and the first in 29 years since Hwang Soo-hyun won gold at the 1994 Hiroshima Games.
It is also the second feat in history for both men and women, as there has never been a men’s singles gold medal.
Ahn made it two gold medals in the women’s team event.
It was the second gold medal of the Games for Korean badminton after the women’s team event. They won two silver medals (men’s doubles and women’s doubles) and three bronze medals (men’s team, mixed doubles and women’s doubles).
After a slow start to the first set, Ahn suffered an injury setback at 18-16.
Ahn felt pain in her knee as she tried to scoop up a shuttlecock that fell in front of her. The shuttle failed to cross the net.
Ahn grimaced hard and couldn’t stand up for a while. She called for a medical timeout and received simple medical treatment.
After struggling to her feet, Ahn scored the first three points to secure the first set.
However, she didn’t seem to be in the best shape, and immediately after the first set, she dropped to the floor to check her knee.
Ahn was unable to keep up with Chen Yufei’s attacks in the early stages of the second set, surrendering a 5-11 lead.
She fought her way back to 16-18, but was unfortunate to see Chen Yufei’s attack hit the net.
At 16-19, Ahn’s in-and-out challenge was accepted and seemed to bring the momentum, but she conceded two points.
Then came the third set miracle.
Ahn took an early 5-0 lead as if she had just been injured.
Chen Yufei couldn’t hide her embarrassment at Ahn’s resurgence and broke herself.
At 7-2, Ahn showed a sliding defense that threw her body out of the way, and then a hustle play that got her right back up to her feet, forcing Chen Yufei to make an attacking error.
Rather than unleashing powerful smashes, she stabilized the game with accurate drop shots, clears, and hairpins.
At 8-4, he calmly watched Chen Yufei’s strokes go off the line, and a shaken Chen Yufei dropped a smash for a 10-point lead.
That didn’t mean his knee was in good shape.
During the break at 11-5, Ahn sat on the court to have it iced.
But when she returned to the court, she seemed to have forgotten about the pain and quickly raced to 19-8.
Chen Yufei tried to stem the tide by calling for a medical time of her own, but to no avail.
Undeterred, Ahn continued to play her game and closed out the match 21-8.
After falling to her knees and crying after Chen Yufei at Jakarta 2018 and Tokyo 2020, Ahn Seyoung cried tears of joy this time. 스포츠토토