The Badminton World Championships 2013 has reached the semi-final stage. The much-fancied ROK team has lost some first-line players, including Lee Yong Dae/Ko Sung Hyun who lost to Chinese Taipei's Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin in the men’s doubles, and Sung Ji Hyun in the women’s singles, who went down to Spain’s Carolina Marin; however, second ranked Kim Ki Jung/Kim Sa Rang stood tall to keep ROK hopes alive, taking out Malaysia’s “diamond combination” of Koo Kien Keat/ Tan Boon Heong.Second string ROK women’s singles player Bae Youn Joo, seeded 13 in the Championships, also knocked out India’s third seed Saina Nehwal.
Tai Tzu Ying puts up stiff resistance but Li Xue Rui goes through
Of the four members of China’s “golden flower legion,” only Li Xue Rui has made it to the semi-finals, with Wang Shi Xian and Wang Yi Han both falling at the quarter final stage. Yesterday, Li faced a tough fight from Chinese Taipei’s young Tai Tzu Ying. In the first game, Tai went into an 18-12 lead but then made a number of attacking errors and gave Li a chance to come back. With the two equal in points, Li missed four game points but was able to take the game at the fifth opportunity. After her titanic effort in the first game, Tzu faded in the second and, in the end, Li won in straight games 27-25,21-13, Tzu defeated but able to hold her head up high after a great effort.
Li Xue Rui will face the ROK’s Bae Youn Joo in the semi-finals. Yesterday, Bae caused something of a surprise when she took the scalp of India’s top women’s single’s players, Saina Nehwal, in straight games, keeping alive the ROK’s hopes of taking the title in the women’s’ singles this year in the process. The top ROK women’s singles player, Sung Ji Hyun, was clearly not comfortable with the unusual shots played by Spain’s Marin in their quarter-final match and, failing to capitalize on three match points in the deciding game, lost the deciding game and the match.
After causing an upset by knocking out the world No.1 pair, Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin fall at the quarter final stage
The fifth seeds in the men’s doubles, Kim Ki Jung/Kim Sa Rang, carry the hopes of the ROK in the men’s doubles after their team mates Lee Yong Dae/Ko Sung Hyun went out early to the surprise of many. The pair overcame second seeds Koo Kien Keat/ Tan Boon Heong in the quarter-finals, once again showing they are equal in ability to the more popular pair Lee/Ko. In the semi-finals, they will face the winners of the gold medal at last year’s London Olympics, Boe/Mogensen of Denmark.
Indonesia’s aces Ahmad/Nasir sail smoothly into the semi-finals of the mixed doubles
The ROK’s Eom Hye Won has reached the semi-final in two disciplines, the women’s doubles (with Jang Yi Na) and mixed doubles (with Shin Baek Choel). Also in the mixed doubles, Indonesian Lightning, Ahmad/Nasir haven’t let their fans down, making it to the semi-finals without much trouble. In the four super series tournaments the pair have played this year they have won three, making them the hot favorites to take the mixed doubles title at the World Championships; in the semi-final, they will face China’s Zhang Nan/Zhao Yun Lei. If the Indonesian’s successfully take the title this will be the second time Nasir has won it after winning in 2007.