Badminton’s ‘Kim Kong Duo’ Goes Mid-Set for Second Week in a Row

Australian Open Women’s Doubles 2-0 in Final
Fourth title of the season after Japan Open
Men’s Doubles also swept Japan 2-0 in the final.
Kim Ga-eun falls 1-2 in women’s singles final

The ‘Kim Kong Duo‘ of Kim So-young (Incheon International Airport) and Gong Hee-yong (Jeonbuk Bank) have returned to the top of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour for the second consecutive week.

The world No. 3 pair of Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong won the women’s doubles final of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Australian Open in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) victory over the world No. 22 pair of Liu Sung-soo and Tan Ning of China. It was the second time they had beaten the Chinese pair in a week, after defeating the world No. 1 pair of Chen Qingcheng and Zhai Fan 2-0 in the final of the Japan Open on March 30.

The victory was Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong’s fourth title of the year after winning the Korea Open, Thailand Open, and Japan Open. They have been in peak form in recent international tournaments, reaching three consecutive finals and winning two.

Korea also dominated the men’s doubles at the Australian Open. The world No. 9 pair of Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae (Samsung Life) met the world No. 5 pair of Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in the final and won 2-0 (21-17, 21-17). Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae, who were crowned champions at the Malaysia Masters in May, were back in action three months later.

World No. 19 Kim Ga-eun, who competed in the women’s singles at the tournament, won her first match of the day against world No. 12 Zhang Beiwen (USA) but dropped the second and third sets to fall 1-2 (22-20, 16-21, 8-21). Kim, who reached her first BWF World Tour singles final in four years after finishing runner-up at the 2019 U.S. Open, will have to wait for another chance to return to the top of the rankings. Ahn Se-young 스포츠토토맨 (Samsung Life Insurance), who moved to world No. 1 after winning the Japan Open women’s singles title a week ago, did not compete in the tournament.

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