The 2021 HYLO Badminton Open finds deserving winners in athletes from Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore.
The closing of the HYLO Open 2021 in Saarbrücken was once again to become a big badminton party. On Sunday, five finals with athletes from just as many nations once again showed in an impressive way what makes the sport of badminton so fascinating. Top-class rallies, emotional tournament winners and fans in the spectator stands, who created the right atmosphere and level of sound at the party. In short: the final day in the Saarlandhalle Hall in Saarbrücken could not have been celebrated in a more fitting way.
The two Indonesian stars Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo, who once again displayed top-class badminton in their men’s doubles final and were crowned the deserved tournament winners with a commanding 21:14/21:19 victory over their compatriots Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin, were also a big factor in this. Nevertheless, both duos were celebrated, as the predominantly Indonesian fans in the Saarlandhalle made no distinction in loudly cheering on their idols despite the differing levels of player recognition. This did not go unnoticed by the two new champions Gideon/Sukamuljo: “The atmosphere in the hall was really great. Besides, the title means a lot to us because we have not been able to win a tournament for a long time.”
Two titles for Thailand
However, contrary to expectations, it was not the Indonesians but rather Thailand who became the stealth nation of the tournament, thanks to the players in the women’s singles and mixed events on Sunday. Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who went into her match against Yeo Jia Min (Singapore) as a slight favourite, started the proceedings and was to do justice to this role after only 35 minutes of play. The Thai clearly decided the match in her favour with scores of 21:10 and 21:14, thus claiming her first Super 500 title in Saarbrücken. The 25-year-old was suitably happy after the match: “The victory here in Saarbrücken means a lot to me. After the long European tour, I am physically pretty exhausted, but I was still totally focused in my head. That was the key to success for me.
Besides Ongbamrungphan, two other athletes from Thailand were also delighted to win a HYLO Open title. In the mixed event, the first seeded duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai swept through the tournament, dropping only one set, and did not give the Indonesian mixed team Jordan/Oktavianti a chance in the final (22:20, 21:14)
Hoshi and Matsuda decide the Japanese duel in their favour
While the Thai duo won the mixed doubles, it was already clear before the final that the winners in the women’s doubles would come from Japan. Chisato Hoshi and Aoi Matsuda put up a tough fight against their teammates Iwanaga/Nakanishi and got the better of them after a total of 52 minutes. With scores of 22:20 and 21:18, the Japanese pair not only won the match in two sets, but also secured their first joint title this year. Besides the prize money of 25,280 US dollars, the women’s duo can also celebrate valuable points in the BWF world rankings. This Japanese pair is currently ranked 68th.
Surprise winner Loh Kean Yew
After an unseeded duo won the women’s doubles, there was also a surprise winner in the men’s singles in the end. Singaporean Loh Kean Yew eliminated four top-class opponents in the first four rounds of the tournament in the form of Chou Tien Chen (TWN), Toma Popov (FRA), Rasmus Gemke (DEN) and Lakshya Zen (IND), all of whom had already won the Badminton Open in Saarbrücken. The final on Sunday then pitted him against Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, himself eighth in the BWF world rankings and seeded second in Saarbrücken. After Lee Zii Jia was able to take the first set 21:19, Loh Kean Yew turned up the pressure in the second set and fought his way back into the match, winning 21:13. Thus, the last match of the tournament went into the deciding set, in which Lee Zii Jia injured his back at 12:17 and was unable to finish the match, much to the dismay of all the fans in the Saarlandhalle. As we all know, one man’s sorrow is another man’s joy, and it was indeed Loh Kean Yew who deservedly secured the biggest success in his career so far. “Even though everything hurts, and my body urgently needs sleep, I am of course very happy. I never expected to win the tournament ahead of time,” the exhausted but happy Singaporean summed up in his winner’s interview.
HYLO Open will at least remain a Super 300 tournament
Thus, the HYLO Open 2021 had everything that the badminton heart desires: the spectators inside the Saarlandhalle were able to marvel at sovereign favourites, approachable stars and overjoyed surprise winners during the six tournament days. These were circumstances that one could well get used to in Saarbrücken. Tournament director Frank Liedtke agrees, and he had another piece of good news to announce at the end of the final day: “We have seen world-class athletes in the past days and experienced an incredible atmosphere in the hall. Therefore, I am very happy to announce that we will definitely see a Super 300 tournament in Saarbrücken next year. Currently, there are also talks with the BWF to see if it could even stay at Super 500 status.” So, while a final decision is still pending here, one thing is already certain: the HYLO Open 2021 will definitely be remembered by badminton fans in Germany
This article was submitted by: HYLO Open