Chong Wei wins first-ever Korean Open title

KUALA LUMPUR: World number one men’s singles player Datuk Lee Chong    Wei opened the new year in style by bagging the Korean Open title after beating Denmark’s Peter-Gade Christensen in straight sets at Olympic Fencing Stadium in Seoul, South Korea yesterday.

SUPERB START: Chong Wei (right) and second-placed Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark pose for photographs on the podium after the men’s singles final at the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul. — Reuters photo

SUPERB START: Chong Wei (right) and second-placed Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark pose for photographs on the podium after the men’s singles final at the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul. — Reuters photo

In the final, top seed Chong Wei outplayed the Danish veteran and defending champion 21-12, 21-11 for his first-ever Korean Open title.

En route to the final, Chong Wei registered straight sets victories over English’s Andrew Smith (Round One), Germany’s Marc Zwiebler (Round Two), Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana (quarter-finals) and China’s Chen Jin (semi-finals).

With the title in the bag, the 27-year-old will head home to defend his Malaysian Open title, which starts on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, despite the absence of their top stars like Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai, China were still a dominant force when they clinched three of the five titles at stake.

Wang Shixian beat unseeded South Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-10, 25-23 to clinch the women’s singles title, top seeds Cheng Shu-Zhao Yunlei lifted the women’s doubles title after crushing Japanese pair Mizuki Fujii-Reika Kakiiwa 21-16, 21-15 while He Hanbin-Yu Yang took the mixed doubles title, beating another Chinese pair Tao Jiaming-Zhang Yawen 21-15, 21-16.

South Korean pair Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae, the top seeds, prevented another Chinese victory when they edged fifth seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng 21-11, 14-21, 21-18 in three thrilling sets to send the home crowd into a frenzy. — Bernama

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