Jeonju City: In what was their second encounter against each other in the Korea Grand Prix Gold finals for second year in a row, defending champion Lee Dong Keun needed 78 minutes to see off last year’s runner-up Lee Hyun-Il to claim the men’s singles title in Jeonju City on Sunday.
Already a 2-time Korea Grand Prix Gold winner, Lee Dong Keun looked shaky in the first set when he squandered a 13-6 lead to lose the first set to Lee Hyun-Il. But Lee Dong Keun who won the tournament in 2012 and in 2014, dug deep and managed to turn the match around when he found his rhythm and fought back to win the next two sets to clinch the title.
Having bagged two Superseries titles in the month of October, mixed doubles No. 1 seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na survived an almighty scare coming from one set down to beat No. 5 seeds Shin Baek Cheol/Chae Yoo Jung 19-21, 21-17, 21-19 to win their third consecutive title within a month.
In the first set, Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na couldn’t hold on to their 19-17 lead, allowing Shin Baek Cheol/Chae Yoo Jung to reel off four points to win the opening game. However, Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na looked poised in the second set, seemingly taking control as the second set started to survive the set and force a decider. Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na almost repeated the same fate in the third set when they allowed Shin Baek Cheol/Chae Yoo Jung to claw back from 9-15 to level the score at 18-18. On verge of losing the finals, Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na came up with some insane defense and offense, scoring the match point after Shin Baek Cheol failed to return a quick body shot from Ko Sung Hyun.
In a rematch of 2013 Korea Grand Prix Gold finals, third-seeded Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang had to fight back from a set down before beating compatriots the second-seeded Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol 16-21, 21-18, 21-19 to win the men’s doubles title on Sunday. In the 2013 edition of the tournament, Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang also needed 3-sets to defeat Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol in the finals with 21-15, 18-21, 25-23.
No. 4 seed Sayaka Sato of Japan fended off strong resistance from the second-seeded Sun Yu of China in the women’s finals, defeated the Chinese 22-20, 21-19 to take home the women’s title and prize money of USD $9,000.
In an all-Korean women’s doubles finals, No. 5 seeds Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee triumphed against No. 6 seeds Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan 21-7, 16-21, 21-19 to lift the women’s doubles title.