Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung win Barcelona Spain Masters

Lee Yong Dae (right) and Kim Gi Jung celebrate after winning the 2018 Barcelona Spain Masters.
Lee Yong Dae (right) and Kim Gi Jung celebrate after winning the 2018 Barcelona Spain Masters.

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.


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