History was made Sunday in China as Jan O Jorgensen claimed the men’s singles title at the Thaihot China Open, heralding a return to form for one of Denmark and Europe’s most colourful characters.
What made the victory so special is that Jorgensen (main picture) became the first European and non-Asian player to win the prestigious event on a black day for Chinese badminton where, for the first time in history, no title at the China Open went to home players.
Jorgensen’s men’s singles win surprised the player himself after a lacklustre Olympics followed by a run less than news worthy performances at the French Open, Denmark Open and Korea Open. However, a pair of runners up spots in Indonesia and Japan, either side of the Olympics was enough to suggest that, for the world number 6, it was probably just a question of time as to when the year defining win would come.
Even without Lee Chong Wei in the field the task for Europe’s best was an enormous one especially with Olympic Champion Chen Long the red hot favourite ensconced on his home patch. Jorgensen was made battle hard in his quarter and semi-finals, taken to three games in both by Tian Houwei and Iskandar Zulkarnain respectively. Jorgensen’s team mate, Viktor Axelsen had softened the giant Chinese shuttler in the semi-final but with a head to head of 8-1 in favour of the Olympic champion even most of the European money would have been on Chen long to extended his rule over Jorgensen.
The final itself hinged around the opening game and at 20-17 in favour of Jorgensen it looked to be going according to plan for the world number 6. Chen Long did bite back to level at 20-20 and the signs were ominous from a Danish perspective. However, Jorgensen dug deep and circled the wagons to take the opening game 22-20 which proved to be catalyst for the Dane to go on and claim the title.
Jorgensen, with the momentum, came out of the blocks fastest in the second game and reached the interval with a three-point lead. Two additional point after the interval break broke the Chinese number 1 and Jorgensen powered the Danish juggernaut home with a 21-13 victory to seal what is probably the biggest win of his career.
“Big win yesterday. One of the biggest days so far in my badminton career. I must say I didn't expect at all to win this tournament when it started on Tuesday. Yesterday’s game was very tough and I had to fight with all I have to beat Chen Long. He has done so well over the last few years and is always a very tough opponent. It makes me even more proud to have beaten him in such a big game.”
Jan O Jorgensen via his official Facebook page.
Boe & Mogensen continue the good fight but come up short in China
The very fact that Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen continue to not only function as a pair in world badminton but continue to lead the lines from a Danish and European perspective is nothing short of a miracle. After a year of the toughest off court circumstances the Danes entered the caldron of the China Open and emerged as runners up, a feat that mere mortals must tip there hat to.
The Danes themselves will be disappointed, after all they are there to win, but in a year as Mogensen so fittingly describes himself as having to climb Mount Everest 100 times and still is climbing, second place in the hot bed of world badminton is a hats off achievement.
The Danes were outgunned Gideon and Sukamuljo in Sunday’s final the third Super Series title of the Indonesian pairs career.
PV Sindhu claimed her first SuperSeries Premier title in the women’s singles event while number 6 seeds Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee lifted the women’s doubles title. The misery was compounded for China as Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won the final match of the day to make it two titles for Indonesia to leave the home nation blushing for the first time in the tournaments 30-year history.
Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe. Photos courtesy of Badminton Photo