KOR JPN

Kim & Kong first finals success

Unseeded Korean pair Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong continued to power their way through the deepest field at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open, winning the final 21-15, 21-18 over the second seeded Japanese combination of Misaki Matsutomo & Ayaka Takahashi.

Having never beaten a Japanese combination before, this was a watermark tournament for the world 30th ranked pairing, having already disposed of the top seeded Japanese in the semi-finals in a marathon match that had left them exhausted.

Today they dominated from the start and never allowed the Japanese into the match, using court craft and in particular the power of Kong to smash their opponents into submission and win their first HSBC BWF World Tour event.

Kim So Yeong is the older of the two and spoke of their preparation and building chemistry as being key to the victory.

“We spent the night getting massage and doing the right things to get our bodies ready, but mentally yesterday was big, before we never thought we could, but yesterday we did and now we know we can do it. Today we knew we could do it, that was the difference mentally.

“Because my partner is quite young and can get emotional I calm her down and plan what to do, but I have faith in her power to win points too.”

Kong backed that up with complete confidence in her more experienced partner.

“The key for all doubles is the partnership, that is the most important thing and this week we enjoyed a perfect partnership on the court to win.”

Women’s Doubles
Kim So Yeong & Kong Hee Yong (KOR) def Misaki Matsutomo & Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) (2) 21-15, 21-18. 49 minutes