Ho Chi Minh City: After winning their year long legal battle against the Korean Badminton Association (BKA) at the end of May 2018, for denying them the right to compete in the BWF-sanctioned tournaments as independent shuttlers, the 2014 men’s doubles world champions Ko Sung-hyun/Shin Baek-cheol were able to advance to the Vietnam Open final on Saturday.
Competing in their first tournament together since the 2016 Indonesia Open, Ko Sung-hyun/Shin Baek-cheol eased past Malaysia’s independent duo Mohd Arif Latif/Nur Azriyn Ayub 21-12, 21-18 in 27 minutes to progress to the final. They are set to take on Lee Sheng Mu/Yang Po Hsuan of Taiwan for the men’s doubles crown.
Despite their defeat, Arif/Azriyn remained upbeat, keeping their focus to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol were much better in their physical fitness. It didn’t seem like had been out of competition for a long time.”
“We will continue to work hard to qualify for the 2020 Olympics,” said Arif.
In men’s singles, the unseeded Ajay Jayaram of India outlasted No. 7 seed Yu Igarashi 21-14, 21-19 to set up a final meeting with Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia on Sunday.
Meanwhile, China’s No. 7 seed Han Yue will play Yeo Jia Min of Singapore in the women’s singles final.