‘2-factor’ Kim Ga-eun catches ‘genius’ Ahn Se-young

South Korea’s No. 2 shuttlecock women’s singles player Kim Ga-eun (25–Samsung Life) stunned Ahn Se-young (21–Samsung Life) in the season-ending Wang Zhong Wang match.

Day 1 of the Women’s Singles Group A at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals 2023 on Wednesday at the Gymnasium at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, China.

Kim Ga-eun, ranked 13th in the world, got her first win with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) victory over No. 1 seed Ahn Se-young.

Kim was initially unable to make the eight-player field for the tournament, but after third-ranked Akane Yamaguchi (26) of Japan withdrew due to injury, she earned a spot and a valuable victory.

Kim avenged her two losses to Ahn Se-young on the World Tour this year. Her head-to-head record is now 4-4.

Earlier in the day in Pool A, world No. 4 Tai Tzu-Ying (29) of Chinese Taipei got off to a fresh start with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) win over No. 7 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (24) of Indonesia.

Group A is a four-player pool with the first and second place finishers advancing to the quarterfinals.

In Group B, China’s 25-year-old Chen Yufei, ranked No. 2 in the world, opened with a 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 21-9) win over her compatriot Han Yue, ranked No. 8.

Fifth-ranked Carolina Marin (30) of Spain defeated ninth-ranked Beiwen Zhang (33) of the United States 2-0 (21-18, 21-10).

In the first match of the day in Women’s Doubles Group B, world No. 2 Lee So-hee (29-Incheon International Airport) and Baek Hana (23-MG Saemaul Bank) defeated No. 3 Kim So-young (31-Incheon International Airport) and Gong Hee-yong (26-Kookmin Bank) 2-0 (21-11, 22-20).

In the same group, the world No. 1 pair of Chen Qingcheng and Zhi Aifan of China defeated Liu Shengxu and Tan Ning of China 2-0 (21-14, 21-17).

In the first match of Mixed Doubles Group B, this year’s World Championships champions Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yoo-jung (28, Incheon International Airport), ranked third in the world, defeated seventh-ranked Kim Won-ho (24, Samsung Life) and Jung Na-eun (23, Hwasun County Office) 2-0 (23-21, 21-12).

In the first match of the Men’s Doubles Group B, this year’s World Championship champions, No. 6 Seo Seung Jae (26-Samsung Life) and Kim Won Ho (24-Samsung Life), fell 1-2 (10-21, 21-15, 22-24) to No. 4 Kim Astrup and Anders Skarup Rasmussen of Denmark.

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