Badminton - China's Shi Yu Qi clinches first Indonesia Open title after superb display


China's Shi Yuqi hits a return against Denmark's Anders Antonsen during their men's singles final match at the Indonesia Open badminton tournament in Jakarta on Sunday, June 9, 2024. - Photo by BAY ISMOYO / AFP

JAKARTA (AFP): Badminton world number two Shi Yu Qi clinched his first Indonesia Open title on Sunday after triumphing over Danish shuttler Anders Antonsen in three games.

The Chinese ace eventually overcame the world number five on the courts of capital Jakarta's Istora Senayan arena, winning 21-9, 12-21, 21-14 in a 71-minute final to secure the prestigious Super 1000 event.

Shi won the first game with relative ease before the Danish shuttler fought back to take the match to a third game.

The 28-year-old was delighted to be the first Chinese men's singles player to win the tournament since the 1980s before setting his sights on Olympic gold in Paris next month.

"I am very happy to have won today. This proves that the efforts of the Chinese men's singles team are very strong right now," he said after his victory.

"This tournament is seen as a practice before the Olympics. I still don't know how far I will go, but I will do my best to become a champion there."

In the women's singles final, Olympic women's badminton champion and Chinese star Chen Yu Fei beat South Korea's An Se-young in a three-game thriller.

World number two Chen toppled world number one An 21-14, 14-21, 21-18 in 82 minutes.

"In this match, I didn't focus too much on the outcome but prioritised the process. That was the key to my victory this time," Chen said via an interpreter after her win.

Olympic men's badminton champion Viktor Axelsen this week pulled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury.

The Dane rolled his right ankle during last week's Singapore Open, which forced him to withdraw from his semi-final, weeks before he defends his title at the Paris Olympics.

The Olympic badminton tournament begins on July 27 in Paris. - AFP

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