South Korea's An wins Thailand Open final; home hero Kunlavut win's men section

Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn poses with the gold medal and the trophy after winning against Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu during their men’s singles final match at the 2023 Thailand Open badminton tournament in Bangkok on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

BANGKOK June 4, 2023 (AFP): Badminton women's singles world number two An Se-young smashed home victory at the final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok on Sunday, overcoming China's He Bingjiao.

The 21-year-old South Korean came out roaring and was in knock-out form throughout the 21-10, 21-19 straight games victory in the Thai capital.

World number five He fought back in the second game -- leading briefly by four points -- which featured some brilliant net play from both players.

But she could not fend off a gloriously sure-footed performance from the South Korean.

On championship point, He's serve devastatingly failed to clear the net, giving An her 15th title on the world tour.

The South Korean player is on something of a roll, having made the final of every tournament she has played this year, winning titles at the All England Open, India and Indonesia.

In the men's final, Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn triumphed to take his kingdom's first gold medal of the day by dominating Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu, 21-12, 21-10 in just 38 minutes.

He becomes only the fourth Thai man to have won this tournament -- enthusiastically thanking the ecstatic crowd, who were noisily behind him all the way.

The world number five -- who beat top-ranked Viktor Axelson at the Indian Open in January -- played a dominant first game, and was troubled only briefly by an unsettled and uneven Lee.

The second game was opened by a beautiful feint from Vitidsarn, 22, tumbling the shuttlecock over the net in a move that disorientated his opponent.

The Hong Konger, ranked 17th in the world and the city's first medalist in this tournament, fought back with some nail-biting rallies and powerful slams, but could not rattle Vitidsarn's supreme confidence. - AFP

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