Wang Chi-Lin & Lee Chia-Hsin - Evan Xiao for Badminton NZ

MIXED DOUBLES THRILLER TO START FINALS DAY AT NZ BADMINTON OPEN

The opening match of the day on finals day at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open set a high standard for others to follow, with Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin (TPE) taking out the mixed doubles title in thrilling fashion over Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung (KOR).

The match went the way of the seeding, with the third seeded combination winning out over the fifth seeds, but in truth it could have gone either way, with small moments deciding the outcome in a match played in a superb atmosphere with a near full-house watching on at the North Shore Events Centre.

Wang used his powerful aerial game and smash to good effect, combining brilliantly with Lee who prowled the net and defended superbly. The Koreans fought to the end however, staving off 3 match points before finally conceding in one of the rallies of the match, with Wang driving consecutive smashes to eventually win the point, and the title.

Wang Chi-Lin – Kai Zhang for Badminton NZ

“Playing the Koreans was quite difficult, we have played them before and lost twice and we have not handled the game of Seo well at all, he has always been tough to counter,” said Wang.

“Our focus was to play one point at a time keep consistent and not try to finish the game in one shot, we had to keep going until the final point to beat them.

“This is a highlight of our careers so far, probably the best result, this is fantastic. The fans were amazing, we want to thank them for helping us today, even when we were behind, they kept us in the match, we are thankful for a great atmosphere in Auckland.

“We now look at the Asia Games in Indonesia with great confidence, but we will take that one game at a time.”

Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin (3) (TPE) def Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung (5) (KOR), 21-19, 14-21, 21-19 (65mins)

Still to play (in order):

Women’s doubles: Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata (JPN) v Cao Tong Wei and Yu Zheng (CHN)

Women’s singles: Sayaka Takahashi (1) (JPN) v Zhang Yiman (CHN)

Men’s singles: Lin Dan (1) (CHN) v Jonatan Christie (2) (INA)

Men’s doubles: Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin (1) (TPE) v Berry Angriawan and Hardianto (2) (INA)