Monday, 22 Jul 2024

News | BWF World Tour

The Hong Kong Open Makes a Triumphant Return

After a four-year hiatus, the Hong Kong Open is back and ready to showcase some thrilling badminton action. Among the players looking to make a mark on home soil is defending champion Lee Cheuk Yiu. With his sights set on another title, Lee kicked off his campaign with a dominant performance.

Lee Cheuk Yiu’s Homecoming Triumph

Lee, currently ranked 17th in the world, opened the tournament with an impressive victory over Weng Hong Yang. In a match that lasted just 38 minutes, Lee displayed his skill and determination, securing a 21-13, 21-15 win. Reflecting on his return to the Hong Kong Open, Lee expressed his excitement and gratitude to the fans who have supported him throughout his career.

“I felt so excited to step out on the court again after four years,” Lee said. “This is my home, and playing here makes me feel good. I became champion at the last edition, so now I have many fans. I want to show them what I’m capable of.”

A Memorable Journey

The last pre-COVID edition of the Hong Kong Open, which took place in 2019, was a turning point in Lee’s career. As a qualifier, he stunned the badminton world by defeating top-seeded players, including Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Shi Yu Qi, and Viktor Axelsen, to claim the title. Lee’s victory made him the only promoted men’s singles player to win the competition since the SuperSeries era began in 2007.

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Reflecting on that incredible run, Lee said, “It’s been a long time, but the memories are still fresh. I loved the energy from the crowd, and I’m eager to experience that feeling again. I’ve been working hard to become a champion once more, and I hope to achieve that in Hong Kong.”

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Caption: Jason Gunawan is playing his first Hong Kong Open.

A Warm Welcome for the Players

The return of the Hong Kong Open has brought back the excitement and fervor of badminton fans. Approximately 4,000 spectators filled the Hong Kong Coliseum to show their support for the local players. Mixed doubles player Tse Ying Suet expressed her delight at playing in front of family and friends once again.

“It’s been a while since we had the chance to perform in front of our loved ones,” Tse said. “The atmosphere was electric, and although it was a bit nerve-wracking, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

For Tang Chun Man, Tse’s partner, the Hong Kong Open holds a special place in his heart. He fondly remembers their impressive run to the semi-finals as a new pair in 2016, a tournament where they fell to the eventual winners Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.

“It was a remarkable achievement for us,” Tang recalled. “We were still a relatively new partnership, but we managed to reach the final four. Those were truly great times.”

A Memorable Debut

The Hong Kong Open also marked the first appearance for 19-year-old Jason Gunawan. Drawing inspiration from the passionate crowd, Gunawan delivered an extraordinary performance in his first-round match against Israeli veteran Misha Zilberman. With the crowd cheering him on, Gunawan secured a thrilling 21-15, 27-25 victory.

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“I could hear the cheers and support from so many people, and I am truly grateful for their encouragement,” Gunawan said. “Having my first big tournament experience in Hong Kong is something I will never forget.”

FAQs

Q: When was the last edition of the Hong Kong Open held?

A: The last edition of the Hong Kong Open took place in 2019.

Q: Who was the defending champion at the last edition?

A: Lee Cheuk Yiu was the defending champion at the last edition of the Hong Kong Open.

Q: How many spectators attended the Hong Kong Open this year?

A: Approximately 4,000 spectators filled the Hong Kong Coliseum to support the players.

Conclusion

The return of the Hong Kong Open has brought back the excitement and anticipation for badminton fans. Lee Cheuk Yiu’s determination to defend his title, coupled with the enthusiasm of the players and the support of the spectators, promises an exhilarating tournament. As the action unfolds, badminton enthusiasts around the world eagerly await the crowning of a new champion. For more information on the Hong Kong Open and other badminton events, visit Carnegiecentre.