Gwangju City: The unheralded Korean shuttler and World No. 564 Kim Min Ki, who rose from nowhere to the Korea Masters final, saw his remarkable run at the tournament halted as he was defeated by fellow countryman No. 4 seed Jeon Hyeok Jin 21-17, 19-21, 21-12 in the final at the Yeomju Gymnasium on Sunday.
Jeon got off to a good start by taking the first set 21-17. Kim then recomposed himself and broke back in the second to take the set 21-19.
Kim was leading at 11-8 after the interval in the decider. However, the 25-year-old suddenly lost his focus, allowing Jeon to steadily chip away and eventually clinched the Korea Masters men’s title in a 69 minutes battle.
In women’s singles, Gao Fangjie who defeated Rio Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu of India and Rio Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin of Spain en route to the China Open final three weeks ago, denied a clean sweet by the hosts as she came from behind to win the women’s singles title.
The unseeded Gao was trailed 14-19 in the first set against No. 5 seed Lee Jang Mi of Korea. Gao then held her nerve to win the first set 21-19. Lee was left demoralized after the first set result, and she eventually handed the second to Gao easily, losing 5-21.
Meanwhile, Korean players also won the men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles titles through Kim Won-ho/Seung Jae-so, Lee So-hee/Shin Seung-chan and Seo Seung Jae/Kim Ha Na.