Auckland: Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying overcame resilient Zheng Siwei and Li Yinhui of China to clinch the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open mixed doubles titles on Sunday.
Chan/Goh who defeated number one seeds Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na in an epic semi-final, 21-19, 10-21, 24-22 on Saturday, did not take their unseeded final opponents lightly, as Zheng Siwei and Li Yinhui had shown what they were capable of doing by beating fourth seeds Choi Solgyu/Eom Hye Won in the first round and second seeds Shin Baek Cheol/Chae Yoo Jung in the semi-finals.
The Malaysian pair got off to a strong start in their opening game and took the first set 21-19 after Goh sealed the winning point through her stunning defence against aggressive smashes from Zheng Siwei.
Both pairs continued to show little mercy against each other in the second set, with the game levelled at 18-18, the Chinese pair tried to break the Malaysians’ momentum by slowing down the pace, which left the Chinese in control at 20-19.
With their nerves jangling, Chan/Goh regained their composures to reel off 3 consecutive points at 22-20 to claim their first title of 2016.
“I made some mistakes, luckily Peng Soon played very well, and I am happy with the result,” said Goh Liu Ying.
“The victory definitely boosted our confidence, this is important especially 2016 is an Olympic year,” added Goh.
With the support of a roaring audience backing their every moves, Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol defeated Indonesia’s Angga Pratama and Ricky Suwardi 21-18, 21-14 to lift the men’s doubles title.
Riichi Takeshita’s dream of his third New Zealand open men’s singles title was dashed by Huang Yuxiang of China, losing 12-21, 17-21 in the final at North Shore Events Centre.
Takeshita who won the tournament in 2013 and 2011, was no match for the 23-year-old Huang, who needed only 43 minutes to dispose the Japanese shuttler.
In women’s competition, Sung Ji Hyun of Korea became the 2016 New Zealand Badminton Open women’s singles champion after she halted Japanese Aya Ohori’s great run in the tournament, winning 21-15, 21-17 in the final.
Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota served up a consolation prize for the Japanese camp when they nailed the women’s doubles title by seeing off Korea’s Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee, 21-13, 21-16.