Son Wan Ho defeated Kento Momota in semi-finals. Lee Cheuk Yiu going after another final berth tonight

  • 2018-11-17
World No.6 Son Wan Ho from South Korea came back from behind to defeat Japan’s Kento Momota in this afternoon’s (November 17) semi-finals at the YONEX-SUNRISE Hong Kong Badminton Championships 2018, he is now only one win away from repeating his dreams, having last claimed the Men’s Single title in this tournament back in 2014.

With only two titles on hand this year, as compared to Kento Momota’s nine, it was natural Son Wan Ho was not the pre-match favorites in this matchup. The South Korean did have a slow start, trailing 11:17 midway through the opening game. Son then regrouped himself and won six straight points to level at 17 apiece, but he couldn’t keep the momentum and lost 18:21 eventually. Facing elimination, Son brought his A-Game back and took the second game 21:16. Onto the final game, both Kento Momota and Son Wan Ho took turns to lead, it was the South Korean who had the last laugh, claiming the deciding game 21:19 to outlast the World No. 1 player after 90 minutes. This is also the first time Son had defeated the Japanese in four tries this year.

“Having conceded the first game, I knew the second one is going to be an endurance battle, and it was obvious Kento Momota was extremely tired,” said Son after the match, who is apparently exhausted. Son lost in straight games to Kento Momota a fortnight ago in Fuzhou, “I didn’t think too much after that loss, and was just playing according to my mood and pace,” said Son when asked about his first win over his nemesis this year. The 30-year-old righthander also praised Hong Kong as his paradise, as he never failed to make the quarter-finals playing in Hong Kong.

Son went on to say he now has 2020 Tokyo Olympics firmly in sight, and claimed comparing to the days when Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan were so dominating, it is easier now for players to climb the rank, “I was only a novice when Lee and Lin were at the best, although there are young and upcoming stars like Kento Momota nowadays, yet I had more experience too, so all I need is to play at my very best,” said the World No.6 player.

Over to Women’s Single, Son Wan Ho’s girlfriend Sung Ji Hyun was eliminated by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon. Sung took the first game 21:10, but the sixth seed from Thailand came back strong to take the next two games at 21:11, 21:17 and advanced to the final.

As for the remaining final berths, Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu will battle it out with Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto later tonight, while defending champion and the No.1 player in Women’s Single, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying faces the challenge from Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.