Gwangju: South Korea mixed doubles pair got off to a good start for the host country when Shin Seung-Chan and Kim Gi-jung defeated Chiang Kai-Hsin and Lu Ching-Yao of Chinese Taipei 21-14, 21-11 at Hwasun Hanium Culture Sports Center in Hwasun, South Jeolla Province, Korea, to pick up the first gold medal for Korea in the badminton individual event. Last Wednesday, South Korea won the badminton mixed team gold medal at the Universiade.
In the women’s singles, Sung Ji-hyun won her second straight Universiade gold, and South Korea’s second of the evening, after she defeated Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand 21-18, 21-19 in a closely fought women’s singles final.
The world No. 88 Jeon Hyeok-Jin from Korea pulled of an amazing upset against world No. 9 Son Wan-ho in the all-South Korean men’s singles final. The duo was in neck and neck in the opening set, when Son scored three straight points to turn the tide after Jeon was leading at 19-17. Jeon then smashed a winner to force deuce at 20-20, and Son handed the set away with several unforced errors towards the net.
Son then recomposed himself to win the second set at 21-13.
Having fought tooth and nail, Son and Jeon were battling for every points until they got to 14-14. Jeon then took control at 17-15 and went on to win the third badminton gold medal for Korea when Son’s return went wide.
Top seeds Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan of Korea then claimed the women’s doubles gold when they trounced second seeds Ou Dongni/Yu Xiaohan of China 21-16, 21-13.
The exciting men’s doubles final ended with a controversial one. Korea’s Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang were leading at 21-20 in the second set, a quick shot from the Chinese pair landed inside the base line on the Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang’s side. And as the Chinese pair thought they have levelled the score at 21-21, and was preparing to serve, the umpire suddenly called “Game!” and said the line judge had called the shuttle out and he himself did not see how the shuttle landed. Since the tournament had no electronic call review system, the umpire couldn’t change the outcome despite protests from the Chinese players and or involvement from the tournament referee.
The controversial umpiring call eventually marred Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang to the men’s doubles gold. It was Kim Gi Jung second golds of the night, he had already won the mixed doubles gold in the first final match of the day.