(Photo: BWF & Badminton Photo)
Europe in the finals!
Date: 8/26/2023 9:08 PM
Published by : Gaia Diakhite Becerra (BEC)
Day six at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2023 has been packed with semifinals action. As only one court remained at the centre stage of the Royal Arena, we saw ten captivating match-ups of badminton.  

In the first semifinal of the day we witnessed a clash between two Chinese powerhouses. Top seeded in women’s doubles, Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan, won it comfortably with a final score of 21-14 21-16. 

The second women’s doubles match featured an exciting battle between Japanese pair Kim So Yeong/ Hee Yong Kong [3] and Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu/ Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti [11]. The latter are through to the women’s doubles final with a final score of 21-9 22-20.

Seo Seung Jae is the star of the day. The Korean player is through to two finals tomorrow (XD & MD) after the defeat of Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik [4] 23-21 21-13, with partner  Kang Min Hyuk [6].

In the mixed doubles category, Seo Seung Jae and his partner Chae Yu Jung managed to stun second seeded Japanese Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. From early on, they settled a lead and claimed the first game 21-15. Though the second game started equally with the score at 4-4, Seo and Chae quickly took the victory at 20-11 in the 35th minute. They are through to the finals with 21-13. 

When asked by BWF how they felt about the final tomorrow, the pair stated that they are of course nervous but have nothing to lose and are ready to give it their all on court when the time comes. Seo and Chae will be joined in the finals tomorrow by top seeded Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong from China. 

Last night’s anti-hero from India, Prannoy H.S. [3], started his match really strong with a convincing 21-18 game over Thai Kunlavut Vitidsarn [3]. Unfortunately, Kunlavut was too strong and concluded with the two remaining games, 21-18, 13-21, 14-21.

As for the players representing Europe, three out of the four that competed in the semifinals are through to the finals!

Carolina Marin showed great perseverance and determination in her match against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi [2]. After a rocky start she managed a great comeback and then dominated in the second game, for a finish at 23-21 21-13. Marin will be vying for her fourth World Championships medal tomorrow, a great way to end the journey she first started back in 2014, in Copenhagen itself. 

“I won my first World Championships in 2014 and my team told me that maybe this year is the way to close this road, where we started to win big titles. And we are on the way. I mean, I want to fight for the gold tomorrow,” Marin declared to Badminton Denmark.

Carolina will face Korean An Se Young in the World Championships finals after the latter claimed her spot with a 21-19 21-15 win over Chen Yu Fei, from China. 

As for locals Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, they are into the finals following a huge win in a three-game epic against Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang, from China. They were not favourites going into the match-up against the third seeds, but the public pushed them beyond imaginable. 

Astrup commented on the impact the crowd has had on their victory: “100%. If we would have played anywhere else, we would have lost that match. We both agree on it. So definitely a huge part of the victory belongs to the spectators and Royal Aena, and we can’t be thankful enough for their support today. They were amazing.”

The last match of the day featured Dane Anders Antonsen [12] versus Kodai Naraoka from Japan [4]. With a nearly packed Royal Arena, the atmosphere was electrifying and although the Dane put up a strong performance, he missed two game points in the first. Naraoka then capitalised and settled the final score of 25-23 21-12. 

The opening ceremony of the finals will be tomorrow at 11am, with matches set to begin at 12am. See you there!
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