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Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles

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The ace duo of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai became the first Thais in badminton history to win a gold medal in the BWF World Tour Finals.

Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles

They won their third title in successive weeks, beating Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung of South Korea 21-18, 8-21, 21-8 in the mixed doubles final on Sunday.

In a fast-paced match with dramatic developments, like Dechapol running off the court in the midst of a point to grab a new racquet, and Sapsiree cutting her hand after a fall, the Thai pair fought hard to cap a successful three weeks on a triumphant note, having earlier won the Thailand Open I and II.

"The first time we made a hat-trick. We are so happy," said Sapsiree who got even with the South Korean pair who beat her and Dechapol in the group stage.

“We tried to take charge at the net. Who took control would end up winning points. After the second game, we regained our control and dictated play. The long nine months of training really paid us off," Dechapol said. The successful three-week campaign netted both players Bt8.2 million.

Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles

Anders Antonsen

In the men’s singles, Anders Antonsen of Denmark and world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan stopped the run of Thailand Open I and II victors to celebrate their crowns in the $1.5-million season finale tournament.

World No. 3 Antonsen played with speed and appropriate shot selection to upset title favourite Viktor Axelsen in the all-Danish men’s final showdown 21-16, 5-21, 21-17. Former world No. 1 Axelsen came into the match with a record of 29 straight wins, including the Thailand I and II titles over the past two weeks.

“Viktor is in phenomenal shape. He has won two previous tournaments. So I knew I had to play a perfect match and get him out of his comfort zone. I wasn’t feeling great today but I wanted to take my chance. It’s so unreal to win,” said the 23-year-old from Aarhus after his third BWF World Tour title but the biggest thus far.

Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles Tai Tzu-ying

 

Women's world No. 1 Tai finally settled scores with Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, winning the gold medal in their third showdown for the title in successive weeks.

The 21-14, 8-21, 21-19 win was a sweet revenge for Tai who was outplayed by the Spaniard in both finals of the Thailand Open. After being two points away from defeat at 16-19, the gutsy Taiwanese returned all shots from Marin to turn the match around and grab the.next five points to win the 67-minute encounter.

“I have to be really focused in the match and play every point prudently. I was a bit tense as Marin moved so fast. But I tried to remain focused and tried to fight back,” said Tai, who became the first women’s singles player to win three year-end tour titles. Her previous wins came in 2014 and 2016.

“It feels great to finally stand on the podium as the winner after settling as runner-up twice. I knew I would make it eventually,” said Tai, who won the winner’s cheque of $126,000.

Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles

 

In the all-South Korean women’s doubles final, Lee So Hee and Shin Seung chan survived six match points in the second game to beat Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong 15-21, 26-24, 21-19 in 82 minutes.

Dechapol-Sapsiree stamp seal of supremacy with hat-trick of titles

 

Taiwanese Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan saved a game point to beat three-time champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-17, 23-21 to win the men’s doubles title, their third in three consecutive weeks.

Published : January 31, 2021