Badminton

Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 5:03:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 11:52:22 PM

Second Korean pair no longer second fiddle

Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (pic) of South Korea beat compatriots Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun in the BWF Super Series men's doubles semi-finals on Saturday in three sets to reach Sunday's final. - The STAR/Azhar Arif

Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (pic) of South Korea beat compatriots Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun in the BWF Super Series men's doubles semi-finals on Saturday in three sets to reach Sunday's final. - The STAR/Azhar Arif

KUALA LUMPUR: South Korean world No. 6 men’s pair Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang finally stepped out of Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun’s shadows after scoring an impressive win to reach the final of the Super Series Finals at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.

Ki-jung-Sa-rang got it right as they took control on court to notch a 21-14, 19-21, 21-16 win over Yong-dae-Sung-hyun on Saturday.

It was their first win over their more illustrious compatriots in six attempts, although they were helped by the fact that Yong-dae-Sung-hyun had split up and haven’t played together since October.

Still, it’s an excellent result for the Korean Open GP Gold and Taiwan Open champions and it shows that the Koreans are on the right track in men’s doubles.

“It’s great to win ... but I think we also benefited from the fact that Yong-dae and Sung-hyun have not been playing together for the last few months,” said Sa-rang.

“They are definitely not as good as they were then and we took advantage of that.

“But it’s a good result for us because to have three strong Korean pairs in the team ... the rivalry will make us better.

“The difference is that now Yong-dae partners with (Yoo) Yeon-seong, who is more of a technical player and stronger in defence.

“Still, we’re happy with the momentum that we’ve been gaining and we’re looking forward to the new season once this tournament is finished.

Ki-jung-Sa-rang will take on world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in the final.

The Indonesians were back at their ruthless best to beat defending champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-18, 21-18.

"We were fully prepared to take on Boe-Mogensen. We know how they play and we managed to neutralise them despite the pressure they gave us," said Ahsan.

"We took the initiative to press the Danes and control the game. This will be the final match of the year and we are fully prepared," added Hendra.

Their opponents meanwhile will be aiming to emulate Yong-dae-Chung Jae-sung’s winning effort in 2009 – the only Koreans to have won the season-ending tournament.

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