Barcelona: South Korea’s former World No. 1 men’s doubles player Lee Yong-Dae and his new partner Kim Gi-jung, have capped off their first competitive return from retirement by winning the Barcelona Spain Masters in style on Sunday.
Despite resistance from World No. 83 Bodin Isara/Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand in the final, Lee/Kim were coming off better in the exchanges and took the first game 21-13.
The Korean duo was trailing at 9-11, 12-14 in the second set before they reeled off six consecutive points to re-take the lead at 18-14 and went on to win the game 21-17.
Lee/Kim were not the first Korean pair to make a successful comeback this year. On August 12, 2018, former World Champions Ko Sung-Hyun/Shin Baek-Cheol also returned to competitive badminton by winning the Vietnam Open title.
In men’s singles, No. 2 seed Rasmus Gemke of Denmark pulled off an upset to beat No. 1 seed Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand 15-21, 21-16, 21-14 in a 66-minute battle.
The unseeded Japanese player Minatsu Mitani were able to force a decider to stun No. 3 seed Mia Blichfeldt 9-21, 23-21, 21-8 in women’s singles final.
Mixed doubles No. 4 seeds Niclas Nohr/Sara Thygesen of Denmark won the second title for their country on Sunday as they overcame No. 1 seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith of England 21-19, 21-17 in 48 minutes.
In the all-Japanese women’s doubles final, No. 1 seeds Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara saw off teammates and No. 2 seeds Ayako Sakuramoto/Yukiko Takahata 21-17, 21-13 to win the women’s doubles crown.