Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

BWF News

For the second consecutive week, an uncoached player has made it to the semifinals of a MetLife BWF World Superseries event, causing an upset in the process. Beiwen Zhang, a Chinese transplant now representing the USA, delivered an exceptional performance in the Women’s Singles quarterfinals at the Yonex French Open 2016, defeating the in-form Akane Yamaguchi. This victory marks Zhang’s first time reaching the Superseries semifinals.

Zhang, competing without a coach, displayed remarkable composure and thwarted Yamaguchi’s bid for a third successive crown. Despite facing a tough opponent, Zhang remained patient and capitalized on her opponent’s mistakes. The thrilling match ended with a 21-16 13-21 21-18 victory for Zhang.

With this win, Zhang joins the ranks of Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, who conquered the Men’s Singles field in Odense the previous week without coaching assistance. Zhang’s remarkable journey at the tournament has not been without challenges. As a lone ranger at the elite level, she has had to rely on the support of fellow athletes for practice sessions and even accommodation.

In the upcoming semifinals, Zhang will face China’s Sun Yu, hoping to continue her impressive run. Sun Yu secured her spot in the semis by defeating Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The other semifinal will feature Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun and Sun’s teammate, He Bingjiao, who won their matches against Tai Tzu Ying and Chiang Mei Hui respectively.

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In the Men’s Singles category, Hsu Jen Hao from Chinese Taipei has made it to the semifinals after Lee Chong Wei’s withdrawal. Hsu’s tenacity led him to overcome Son Wan Ho of Korea in a thrilling three-game match. He now faces China’s Shi Yuqi, who defeated Jonathan Christie from Indonesia.

The other semifinal in the Men’s Singles features Lee Hyun Il of Korea and Ng Ka Long from Hong Kong, who emerged victorious against Jan Jorgensen of Denmark.

Chinese teenager Chen Qingchen has been making a name for herself in the top flight of badminton. She has progressed to the semifinals in both the Women’s Doubles (with Jia Yifan) and the Mixed Doubles (with Zheng Siwei). Chen and Jia showed great determination in their match against Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen, winning 21-19 21-19. They now prepare to face top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan.

In the other Women’s Doubles semifinal, another Chinese pair, Huang Dongping and Li Yinhui, will face Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee of Korea. Meanwhile, Li Yinhui and Zhang Nan overcame a late-night challenge from Thailand’s Bodin Isara and Savitree Amitrapi, securing a spot in the Mixed Doubles semifinals. They will now compete against their Chinese teammates Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.

Denmark is guaranteed representation in the Men’s Doubles final, with veteran duo Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen facing Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Kim Astrup. The other semifinal will witness the battle between Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet from Thailand and Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Angga Pratama from Indonesia.

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Stay tuned for more exciting badminton action at the Yonex French Open 2016!