An Se Young became the first Korean singles player to be crowned YONEX All England champion in 27 years with a thrilling victory over Chen Yufei.
Long before the world No.2 was born, in 1996, Bang Soo-hyun won the world’s oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament.
Singles talent has tried up since then but now, Korea have a gem on their hands as the 21-year-old wrapped up what should be the first of many Super 1000 titles.
Olympic champion Chen Yufei enjoyed Utilita Arena Birmingham’s backing for most of the match but An Se Young’s name was ringing around the arena by the end of the third game.
The games followed a similar pattern as An Se Young led through the first and Chen Yufei then dominated the second, setting up the rubber perfectly.
An Se Young held a five-point lead through the middle of the third game but Chen drew on her reserves of experience and to pull level at 17-17.
That brought a final kick for home out of the Korean, who forced rare errors from Chen to set up three match points. She squandered two of them but won the third to cue jubilant celebrations.
If An Se Young was once christened as the future of the sport, she is now the present having been the only player to reach the final of all five BWF World Tour events staged so far in 2023.
Olympic qualifying will soon kick off the road to Paris and with An Se Young yet to even make her debut at the Games, the sky is the limit for this young star.
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