Badminton player Jun takes gold at Korea OpenKorea’s up-and-coming badminton player, Jun Jae-youn, 22, won the women’s individual title at the Daekyo Noonnoppi Korea Open Badminton Championships in Incheon on Sunday.
In the final match, ninth-seeded Jun beat eighth-seeded Wang Chen of Hong Kong 2-0 (11-7, 11-8). It has been nine years since a Korean woman won a gold medal in individual competition at a six-star international event; in 1996, Bang Soo-hyun won at the Korea Open.
In the mixed-doubles final, Lee Jae-jin and Lee Hyo-jung beat Jens Eriksen and Mette Schjoldager of Denmark 2-0 (17-14, 15-9), while in the women’s doubles, Lee Kyung-won and Lee Hyo-jung defeated Gail Emms and Donna Kellogg of England, who withdrew from the game. In total, Koreans won three gold medals and two bronze medals.
Jun came in second at the Korea Open and won the Asian Badminton Championship last year, but lost in the round of 16 at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
By winning the Korea Open, a world grand prix event, she has proven that there is a future for Korea’s women’s badminton.
Jun led the first set and won it. In the second set, she lost an early lead to Wang but got ahead with a score of 9-4. They exchanged the right to serve eight times as Wang persistently chased Jun until the score reached 9-8. Jun’s drop shot, however, crossed the net and finished the game.
Jun began badminton when she was in her third year in elementary school in Pocheon. She lost her parents when she was a sophomore in middle school and has lived with her grandmother since then.
In the mixed-doubles final, Lee Jae-jin and Lee Hyo-jung surprised fans by beating the second-seeded Danish team.
In the first set, the two Koreans trailed their opponents 11-14, but they reclaimed the right to serve and won the next six points.
The Lee-Lee team was formed last December and this was their second international championship.
by Kang Hye-ran
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