[스포티비뉴스=조영준 기자] Lee So-hee (29, Incheon International Airport) and Baek Ha-na (23, MG Saemaul Geumgo) won the World Badminton Federation (BWF) Malaysia Masters women’s doubles by defeating home team Malaysia Group.
Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na pair defeated Malaysian Tan Perley-Tina Muralitaran pair 2-1 (22-20 8-21 21-17) in the women’s doubles final of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Series Malaysia Masters held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 28th. .
Formed in October of last year, Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na pair first reached the top at the German Open in March. After working together, they won one gold medal, five silver medals, and three bronze medals, and rose to 6th place in the world rankings. It is also ranked #1 in the rankings this season.
In the quarterfinals, Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na defeated Matsuyama Nami-Shida Chiharu, the leading Japanese women’s doubles and the top seed of this tournament, 2-0 (21-16 21-17). Also, in the semifinals, Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara defeated Japan’s team 2-0 (21-19 21-14).
Proving they were the ‘Japanese Killers’, they met the Pearly-Muralitaran pair in the finals, supported by the home crowd. Perley-Muralitaran, ranked 11th in the world, is the most aggressive team in women’s doubles. With strong offensive power comparable to that of male players, they received the one-sided support from the home crowd and took part in the game.
Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na were at risk of losing their concentration. However, at the match point, he scored the same score as Altoran, putting an end to the long journey that lasted 1 hour and 41 minutes.
In the first set, 13-13, the pair of Perley and Muralitaran scored consecutively with powerful offense. Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na, who made frequent mistakes, fell behind 15-19. However, with Lee So-hee’s smash and Baek Ha-na’s exquisite drop shot, Korea tied the score 20-20.
In this situation, Lee So-hee scored a decisive serve. Afterwards, Lee So-hee did not miss her chance to score, and she won the first set 22-20.
Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na, who took the first set after a close match, slowed down dramatically in the second set. The furley-muralitaran group’s wave offensive continued and the score gap widened to 5-15. In the end, Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na lost the second set, and the match continued into the third set.
Malaysia Group’s momentum continued in the third set. Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na were trailing 5-9, but Baek Ha-na’s drop shot continued to score and tied the score at 9-9. From the 3rd set, Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na’s defense came back to life, and Pearly-Muralita’s team’s mistakes were poured out.
Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na, who overturned the charter 11-9, took a 19-16 lead and seized the victory. Lee So-hee returned to the court after receiving treatment for her injured right leg during the third set match. In 19-16, a whopping 143 rallies followed. Baek Ha-na broke the defense of the Pearly-Muralita pair, who threw her body and caught the shuttlecock, and completed a long rally.
Driven to the brink by 17-20, Malaysia’s Muralitaran showed symptoms of exhaustion and requested medical time. In the restarted game, Lee So-hee and Baek Ha-na set the flag on the 21-point high and took the gold medal around their necks.
Kang Min-hyeok (Samsung Life Insurance) and Seo Seung-jae (Army Sports Corps) in men’s doubles also made it to the finals. In the men’s doubles final, which will be held on this day, they will face Malaysia’s Manwei Chong-Kaiunti Joe.
TV channel SPOTV ON and sports OTT service SPOTV NOW will broadcast the Malaysia Masters men’s doubles final live from satellite.
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