Auckland: Korea’s former world No. 1 men’s singles badminton star Lee Hyun-il who has come back from retirement at least three times and has not letting age slow down his games. The 35 year old Korean dominating men’s singles semi-finals at New Zealand Open, beating top seed Hsu Jen Hao 21-13, 21-6 to set up a championship clash against unseeded Qiao Bin of China in the men’s singles final on Sunday.
Lee Hyun-il’s phenomenal work ethic has kept him at very high competition level for many years.
“I was asked many times that ‘You are old, how can you still be playing and getting those scores?’,” said Lee Hyun-il.
“Well, I’ve been training very hard, and I’ve been maintaining my fitness. I train in the morning, in the afternoon. You can’t imagine how hard I train,” added Lee Hyun-il.
In men’s doubles semi-final, 6th seeds from Malaysia Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah were upset by the younger 7th seeds Fajar Alfian and Rian Ardianto from Indonesia 15-21, 18-21 in 42 minutes.
Rian Ardianto told reporters that they were confident they could win the semi-final match.
“It was a very close match, and we needed to stay focused all the time. Thanks to our preparation last night, things went very well for us today,” said Ardianto.
The Indonesian pair will take on Huang Kaixiang/Zheng Si Wei of China in the men’s doubles final on Sunday.
Here are other match-ups in the New Zealand Open final on Sunday:
Zheng Si Wei/Chen Qingchen (China) vs Yu Xiaoyu/Xia Huan (China)
He Bing Jiao (China) vs Saena Kawakami (Japan)
Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (Japan) vs Xia Huan/Zhong Qianxin (China)