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China Open Review: An Se Young continues recent dominance

Three sets of newly-minted world champions backed up their success with triumphs at the China Open.

The prestigious Super 1000 event came hot on the heels of the global gathering in Denmark and a number of shuttlers were able to keep the good times rolling in Changzhou.

Foremost among them was YONEX All England women’s singles champion An Se Young.

The category had been the preserve of Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi but the Korean must now be considered the world leader after an incredible 2023 season.

An won the world title in style last month and secured a stunning ninth tournament win of the calendar year in China, toying with Yamaguchi in a 21-10 21-19 triumph.

Her compatriot Seo Seung Jae took global glory in two disciplines and he combined with Chae Yu Jung again for mixed doubles success.

As they did in the World Championship final, the pair saw off the challenge of top seeds Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong as early as the quarterfinals with China’s Feng Yan Zhe and Huang Dong Ping crashing out in the second round.

Seo and Chae had far too much for French duo Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue, who did well to reach a Super 1000 final, but fell 21-19 21-12 in the showpiece.

With a fourth world title under their belt, home favourites Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan romped past Korea’s Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee 21-11 21-17.

Elsewhere, Viktor Axelsen has been sparing in his tournament schedule of late but returned to the BWF World Tour in style.

The Dane completed a career Super 1000 Grand Slam, a 21-16 21-19 win over China’s Lu Guang Zu seeing him taste China Open victory for the first time, having won the All England Open, Indonesia Open and Malaysia Open.

World bronze medallists Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang went two steps further by taking China Open glory, beating Aaron Chia and Sooh Wooi Yik 21-12 21-14 in the final.


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