Ahn Se-young, badminton’s ‘absolute number one’, says grand slam is just a matter of time
World No. 1 badminton women’s singles player Ahn Se-young (21-Samsung Life Insurance) has established herself as the “absolute No. 1” and has begun to dominate.
Ahn won gold in the women’s singles final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday, defeating her “one-time” nemesis Chen Yufei (China-World No. 3).
It is only the second time a South Korean athlete has won the women’s singles title at an Asian Games and the first in 29 years since Hwang Soo-hyun won the 1994 Hiroshima Games.
It is also the second time a South Korean has ever won a gold medal in men’s singles, as there has never been a men’s singles gold medal.
Ahn is no stranger to writing new chapters in Korean badminton.
In March of this year, Ahn defeated Chen Yufei at the All-England Open, badminton’s most prestigious tournament, to win the women’s singles gold medal for the first time in 27 years.
Her unstoppable momentum carried her to seven international titles, three runner-up finishes, and one bronze medal by July, propelling her to the top of the world rankings, overtaking her “one-time” nemesis Akane Yamaguchi (JPN).
It was also the first time in 27 years that a South Korean player was ranked No. 1 in the women’s singles.
Ahn, who until then had been categorized as the “Big Four” with Yamaguchi, Chen Yufei and Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei), began to establish herself as the “absolute number one” at the World Individual Championships in August.
Ahn’s world title was the first ever for a South Korean badminton singles player, male or female.
Less than two months later, she dominated the Asian Games, making Hangzhou the site of her own badminton coronation.
Ahn also took a step closer to her self-described “Grand Slam” (Olympic, Asian Games, Asian Championships, and World Championships).
Only Kim Dong-moon (mixed doubles) and Park Joo-bong (men’s doubles) have accomplished this feat in Korean history.
But with just nine months to go before the Paris Olympics, Ahn is at the peak of her powers.
So far this year, she has a winning percentage of 92.6 percent (63 wins, 5 losses) and hasn’t lost to anyone other than Yamaguchi, Chen Yufei and Tai Zhiying.
In fact, it’s hard to call those three players her opponents.
Ahn is 4-2 against Yamaguchi this year, 5-2 against Chen Yufei, and 6-1 against Tai Ziying.
Ahn has been labeled as the “nemesis” of Chen Yufei, who brought her to her knees at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, by defeating her in the final of this tournament.
Now, Ahn has only herself to contend with. 토토사이트