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S. Korea wins gold in women's badminton, 1st since 1994

Oct. 1, 2023 - 15:27 By Yoon Min-sik
South Korean women's badminton team celebrates after winning the women's team event at the 19th Asian Game in Hangzhou, China on Sunday. (Yonhap)

South Korean women's badminton team on Sunday defeated China to win the gold medal at the 19th Asian Game, ending nearly three decades of title drought that persisted since 1994.

In the team competition finals held at the Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China, the Koreans shut out their finals opponents 3-0. The champion of the Asian Games is determined in the best of five games series that involves three single matches and two doubles.

An Se-young, the No.1 singles player in the Badminton World Federation ranking, won 2-0 (21-12, 21-13) against Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Chen Yufei in the opening singles match. Lee So-hee and Baek Hana swept the subsequent doubles against their Chinese opponents Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, who rank world's No.1 in doubles.

Kim Ga-eun wrapped things up in the third match by upsetting the singles No.5-ranked He Bingjiao 2-0, sealing the shutout victory for South Korea.

For An, it was a revenge match against Chen, who bested her in both the 18th Asian Games in 2018, and in the Tokyo Olympics.

"I've learned a lot from my two previous losses (against Chen). But I'm not the old me anymore," she said. "Believing in myself and my training helped my game."

An Se-young (Yonhap)

The victory marked the second-ever Asian Games gold medal in team event for South Korea, who suffered five straight losses to China after the 1994 Asian Games.

In other events on Sunday, South Korea won the gold medal in the team event of the men's golf tournament, while Im Sung-jae captured the silver medal in the individual event behind Kho Taichi of Hong Kong.

The women's golf national team captured the silver medal in the team competition event with the score of 29-under, after Thailand's 34-under. China got the bronze with 26-under. Yoo Hyun-jo won the bronze in the women's individual competition, finishing behind Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand and Aditi Ashok of India.