Badminton Life

Park Claims Asian Crown as Koreans Rejoice

South Korea's Park Sung-hwan won his first major title after beating China's Chen Jin 21-18, 21-18 in the men's singles final of the Asian Championships in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

It was a successful tournament overall for South Korea with the pair of Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung continuing their run of form with victory in the men's doubles competition.

Chen had the previous day booked his place in the Olympic Games in Beijing by beating his compatriot and world number one Lin Dan in the semi-finals.

However, Park put up a much more determined challenge than Chen and made sure that he wasn't denied a second time in a final in Malaysia. He also reached the final of the 2004 Malaysian Open.

"It has taken me six years to reach this point of winning a major title and I am thoroughly enjoying this moment," said Park, who also won the Surabaya Satellite tournament in 2005.

"Winning the ABC is important to me and the Thomas Cup in May is also a big tournament. But what matters more to me is the Beijing Olympic Games. I am focused to do well there," he said.

Park has been hampered in his career by a spate of injuries, having had to go under the knife several times. The 24-year-old has gradually risen up to 12th in the world and he is now expected to topple compatriot Lee Hyun-il as his country's leading singles player.

The Koreans were already celebrating earlier when Lee and Jung beat Indonesia's Candra Wijaya and Nova Widianto 21-16, 21-18 for their third title of the year.

Nova is normally a mixed doubles player but the Indonesian management decided to pair him with Candra to see how they perform. They may even stay together for the Thomas Cup finals in May.

All England champions Jung and Lee, however, were too experienced for the Indonesians and have now established themselves as favourites for the gold medal in Beijing.

Jung said their strategy of targeting Nova paid off.

"Nova is a mixed doubles specialist but playing in the men's doubles for the first time. He was our target and that worked well for us," Jung said.

Lee added; "In the past, we were in a rush to win everything and our focus has been on our attacking game. But our coach felt that we needed to improve on our defence too. Now, we have changed the style of our game."

Return from Park Claims Asian Crown as Koreans Rejoice to Badminton News & Videos

Return from Park Claims Asian Crown as Koreans Rejoice to Badminton Information

Badminton Life
Join Our Free Training Tips Newsletter

Get 2 Training Videos and The Singles Tactics E-Book For Free!

Join the Badminton Life Newsletter and get 2 free sample videos from The Essentials of Badminton Technique and a free E-Book on Singles Tactics!

Badminton Life