Badminton 2022 Korea Masters, semi-finals: China and hosts guaranteed titles but He Bingjiao denies An Seyoung a home tournament double

All the results from Saturday's action at the Super 300 event in Gwangju, South Korea, as Sunday's finalists are decided.

By Sanjeev Palar
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

The finalists have been decided in the second-consecutive badminton World Tour event in South Korea, the 2022 Korea Masters, after an action-packed day of semi-finals on Saturday (16 April).

Fresh from winning the Korea Open crown, home hero An Seyoung was hoping to make it two titles from two home tournaments, but was denied a place in the women's final by China's He Bingjiao.

Hosts South Korea re assured of at least the women's doubles title and will look to Jeon Hyeok Jin, who joined the tournament as a reserve option, who now has a chance to clinch the men's singles title.

China are confirmed to leave Gwangju with at least two titles, the women's singles and mixed doubles, and have a shot at a third in the men's doubles.

Below, you can read through all the updates from the penultimate day of the BWF Super 300 event which can also be streamed live for free on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com in certain territories around the world.

2022 Korea Masters finals fixtures

Here is a summary of the finalist who will take to the court on Sunday (17 April) for a chance to clinch top honours at the 2022 Korea Masters:

  • Mixed Doubles - Wang Yi Lyu & Huang Dong Ping (CHN) vs Ou Xuan Yi and Huang Ya Qiong (CHN)
  • Men's Singles - Naraoka Kodai (JPN) vs Jeon Hyeok Jin (KOR)
  • Women's Doubles - Baek Ha Na & Lee Yu Rim (KOR) vs Kim Soyeong & Kong Heeyong (KOR)
  • Women's Singles - Chen Yu Fei (CHN) vs He Bing Jiao (CHN)
  • Men's Doubles - Kim Gi Jung & Kim Sa Rang (KOR) vs Liu Yu Chen & Ou Xuan Yi (CHN)

Double delight for Ou Xuan Yi who make second final in Gwangju

China's Ou Xuan Yi will have his work cut out for him on Sunday (17 April) after also making the men's doubles finals.

Earlier on Saturday, Ou had earned a place in the mixed doubles final and then returned to the court alongside Liu Yu Chen for his second semi-final of the day.

They took on South Korea's Choi Solgyu and Kim Wonho who pushed them hard all the way to the finish, but could not manage to edge past the Chinese duo. Ou and Liu won a very close opening game and went on to build on that success in the second to win the match 21-9, 21-16.

Liu and Ou have their second attempt at winning a BWF World Tour title together after also making the final of the German Open earlier this year. Standing in their way this time around is the South Korean pair of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.

The Kims defeated Japan's Okamura Hiroki and Onodera Masayuki in a match that stretched to three games. The home pair eventually prevailed after an hour and eleven minutes to win 22-20, 12-21, 21-10.

South Korea secure women's doubles title

Hosts South Korea will take home the women's doubles title at the Korea Masters.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists and tournament second seeds Kim Soyeong and Kong Heeyong beat their compatriots Eom Hye Won and Bo Ryeong Kim in straight games 21-18, 21-9 in a semi-final match that lasted 42 minutes.

The second semi, between Baek Ha Na and Lee Yu Rim and China's Du Yue and Li Wen Mei, proved quite a slugfest. The three-game match which stretched to ten minutes shy of two hours, saw long rallies amongst the four players, included a record-breaking 195-shot rally that went on for three minutes and 20 seconds.

The home favourites eventually prevailed winning the match, 21-18, 19-21, 21-16 to make it an all-South Korean final and ensure the home nation will win at least one title on Sunday (17 April).

China assured of at least two titles with mixed doubles lock-out

This year's Korea Masters is proving to be a happy hunting ground for the players from China as their mixed doubles pairs secured both spots in Sunday's (17 April) final.

Reigning Olympic champions Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping lived up to their billing as the tournament top seeds with a comfortable win over South Korea's Yong Jin and Lee Yu Rim.

The Chinese needed only 30 minutes to secure their spot in the final winning, 21-12, 21-8.

They will meet compatriots Ou Xuan Yi and Huang Ya Qiong who ensured an all Chinese final after beating Malaysia's Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai, 21-11, 21-15.

The Chinese scratch pairing have really found momentum, playing together for the third time this season. They reached the final of the German Open and made the quarter-finals of the Korea Open.

Reserve option Jeon Hyeok Jin storms into men's final

After being promoted form the reserve list of players for this tournament following the withdrawal of several seeded players, Jeon Hyeok Jin has risen to the occasion and continues his fairy-tale run to reach the men's final at the Korea Masters.

The 26-year-old who reached a career high of 18 in the world rankings back in 2018, was able to pull off a straight games victory over tournament second seed Sitthikom Thammasin from Thailand.

Jeon rushed to an early advantage in the first game, the second saw Thammasin keep closer to the South Korean but the Thai player was unable to edge ahead of his opponent as the reserve option for this tournament took the win, 21-18, 21-15 to book his spot in the final.

Naraoka Kodai has a chance to end Jeon's run in Gwangju after he beat Malaysia's Soong Joo Ven in the other men's singles semi-finals match.

The Japanese player who clinched bronze at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, earned his maiden World Tour Final appearance of his career with a hard fought win over his lower ranked opponent. 20-year-old Kodai emerged victorious after an epic one hour and 25 minute match, prevailing, 21-17, 21-23, 21-11.

An all-China women's singles final

He Bingjiao booked her place in the women's singles final after she beat recent Korea Open winner and home favourite An Seyoung in straight games.

The Chinese player pulled away from the South Korean in the early stages of the first game and never conceded the lead thereafter as she clinched the opening game to hold the advantage.

The second game saw An fight back and there was not much separating the two who tied at 8-8. However it was 25-year-old who managed to once again pull away as An struggled to find a response. He kept her clean slate against the South Korean, winning 21-11, 21-13 to make her second World Tour final this season.

Meanwhile, reigning Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei booked her spot in the final by beating compatriot Wang Zhi Yi in a three-game thriller.

Chen got the better start over her junior and quickly clinched a relatively easy opening game, but 21-year-old Wang found her rhythm in the second and out-played the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist to force a decider.

The third game was a closely fought affair with very little separating the two as they traded points. However, 24-year-old Chen found an extra gear towards the end as she managed to pull away to win the game and clinch the match, 21-7, 19-21, 21-17.

China are assured of the title with He and Chen facing off in a final for the second time this season after meeting at the German Open which saw He clinch her first title of the season.

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