World No. 1 Ahn Se-young (Samsung Life) screamed when she was confirmed as a finalist. Not once, but twice. She looked at the Korean supporters and pumped her fists in the air to express her joy.
Ahn defeated world No. 5 He Bingjiao 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) in the women’s singles semifinals at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) 2022 at Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on Saturday. She will play the winner of Chen Yufei (No. 3 China)-Ohori Aya (No. 20 Japan) for gold in the final on Sunday.
“I was so happy to think that tomorrow was the last time I would play and that I had made it to the final, so I roared,” Ahn said in the post-match mix zone.
After defeating Abdul Razak Fatimas Navaha (Maldives) in the round of 16 in 21 minutes on Thursday and Busanan Ongvamrungpan (Thailand) in the quarterfinals on Friday in 44 minutes, Ahn sealed her place in the final with a 42-minute victory over He Bingjiao.
Ahn Se-young will attempt to win the women’s singles gold medal 29 years after her Hiroshima 1994 victory. Born in 2002, Ahn hasn’t seen the glory of 29 years ago. “I heard that it was the first time in 29 years that we won the team event, but it’s hard to believe that it’s also the first time in 29 years that we’ve advanced in the singles,” she said, adding, “The game is not over yet. I think I need to stay focused.”
Ahn played a seesaw game in the first set until 7-7, but then she rattled off six straight points to take a 13-8 lead and then closed the gap with back-to-back points to win 21-10. In the second set, she overturned a point on video review and took the lead. “I don’t usually apply for video challenges in that situation and position because it’s an all-or-nothing situation,” Ahn laughed, “but today I thought, ‘This is the day it becomes something,’ because the centrifugal force was reversed.”
Ahn was the first to reach 11 points, followed by Heo Bing-ja
With the win, Ahn is one step away from completing the double. Earlier in the day, she won a gold medal in the women’s team event as a first singles player. After a strong start to the tournament, Ahn hopes to make up for her disappointing individual performance at the World Championships.
Ahn has been on a roll lately. In the 12 international tournaments she has played this year, she has eight wins, three runner-up finishes, and one third-place finish. In March, she won the women’s singles gold medal at the All-England Open, badminton’s most prestigious event, becoming the first South Korean to do so in 27 years. In August, she overtook Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi to become the world No. 1.
“There’s a lot of pressure. I really want to win and I want to do well,” she said, adding, “My coaches make it fun, so it takes the pressure off.”
Ahn will play the winner of Chen Yufei (3rd, China)-Ohori Aya (20th, Japan) for gold in the final on Sunday. Ahn trails Chen Yufei 6-10, but is 5-2 against her this season. She also defeated Chen Yufei 2-0 in the team event final against China. She is undefeated against Aya Ohori in their six meetings. “It’s good to have more rest (around eight hours) than my opponent,” said Ahn, who finished her match in the morning. 메이저사이트