Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Lee lands his first title at Badminton Open

Lee lands his first title at SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open.

Lee Cheuk Yiu is the toast of Hong Kong after a stunning upset in the final of the men’s singles at the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland.

Playing in his first ever final at a BWF Grand Prix Gold event, Lee showed nerves of steel to fight back from a game down to beat top seed Tzu Wei Wang in the title decider.

The unseeded 20-year-old had looked set for a tough day at the office after being put to the sword by the world number 12 in the opening game, with Wang seemingly headed for his second New Zealand title after winning in 2014.

But Lee refused to lie down, even when facing four match points in the third game decider, and somehow pegged back the deficit to clinch an epic 11-21 21-15 22-20 victory.

The magnitude of the victory was still sinking in for the newly crowned champion shortly after the match.

“I’m still dreaming,” he said.

“When I was down 20-16 in the third game I just relaxed because I thought I had lost. But somehow in the end I got there.”

It’s a far cry from what Lee expected when he arrived in New Zealand, having not looked beyond a likely second round match against third seeded Indonesian Jonatan Christie.

However, beating the third, sixth and seventh seeds, before taking out the top seed in the final, has done wonders for his confidence.

“I now know I can do it. I can trust myself to win against some of the top players in the world.”

Meanwhile, the women’s singles final very nearly followed the same script.

World number nine Ratchanok Intanon won the opening game with ease against Japan’s Saena Kawakami, only for the fifth seed to come storming back in the second, to force the Thai into a deciding third game

However, the crowd favourite fended off what would have been a monumental upset, holding her nerve to close out the match 21-14 16-21 21-15.

Intanon says she never panicked after being taken to three.

“I was very well prepared and I was excited to be playing but it’s good to have finished with the win,” she said.

The 22-year-old Thai was well aware of the drama in the men’s singles but says she didn’t let it affect her.

“I didn’t think about it. I just tried to win my own match so I could claim the title.”

The women’s doubles also went to plan, although top seeds Malaysia didn’t have it all their own way.

Commonwealth Games gold medalists Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei dropped the opening game against Japan’s Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata, but bounced back to win 18-21 21-16 21-19.

The men’s final was a far more straight forward affair, with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Li claiming the title in straight games.

The top seeds were too good on the day for second seeded Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, winning 21-16 21-18.

But the mixed doubles produced yet another upset, with Indonesia’s Ronald and Annisa Saufika the surprise winners.

They had been promoted to the main draw from qualifying due to a withdrawal, but have gone all the way to be crowned champions.

The unseeded pair proved too good in the final for Australian eighth seeds Sawan Serasinghe and Setyana Mapasa, winning 21-19 21-14.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland