27 - 31 Jan
BWF World Tour Finals - Bangkok
The group stage is done, some big names have gone home, and others have made it to the weekend of the season-ending badminton event. Who will reach Sunday's finals? Find out here with live text updates, action, and reaction.
Welcome to the Olympic Channel's blog coverage of the BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok, Thailand.
All times are local time (UTC +7 hours).
Well, that surprising end to the day sets up an intriguing set of finals for tomorrow.
Before we go, let's hear from a disappointed Shevon Jemie Lai:
"I think in the first game, there were just a few mistakes here and there. In the second game I have to admit that I didn't do well, there were a few errors which put me under pressure, made me anxious and messed up my mind a bit. I lost my concentration and my focus. Our opponents are strong and fast so we went into the match with our mindset that we had to get our defence going in order to gain long rallies. I was a little off in the second and became tense."
Thank you for joining us today and we'll be back at 1 PM tomorrow in Bangkok as the following matches are on tap:
Women's doubles final: Lee/Shin (KOR) v Kim/Hong (KOR)
Men's doubles final: Lee/Wang (TPE) v Ahsan/Setiawan (INA)
Women's singles final: Tai Tzu-ying (TPE) v Carolina Marín (ESP)
Men's singles final: Viktor Axelsen (DEN) v Anders Antonsen (DEN)
Mixed doubles final: Seo/Chae (KOR) v Dechapol/Sapsiree (THA)
Unsurprisingly, there was no way back for Goh and Lai.
The Malaysians did manage to score seven more points but Seo and Chae will face the Thai pair in tomorrow's mixed doubles final.
Score: Seo/Chae 21-19, 21-8 Goh/Lai in 39 minutes
What is happening here?
After that extremely close first game, Goh and Lai are down by 10 points at the towel break.
Score: 21-19, 11-1
Whatever their coach said to them after the first game has worked. Seo and Chae have raced away to a 8-0 lead in the second.
Score: 21-19, 8-0
A high-quality rally is won by the Koreans with a great smash to set up game point.
Seo and Chae win the game as the Malaysians send it into the net after a quick rally at the net.
Every time a team – and it's tended to be the Koreans – pulls ahead, the other side fight back.
"'m really happy about the way I've managed to play all my games here. I've played rather short matches, which has been good for my recovery so I'm pretty happy with it. I think Chou made it tough for me in the first game, he controlled the drift well but I managed to keep going and in the end after the first game I got a narrow lead, which I managed to close. I knew going into this match it would be a physical game. I wanted to see if I could push things at the front court a little, control the shots and I won a few of those which was pretty crucial.
"I'm really excited. I don't care who I play. I just go into matches wanting to do my best and tomorrow will be no different. It's going to be an exciting match. The crowd loves an all-Danish final, especially in Denmark. For me it's about going out and there and following my game plan."
It's 11-10 at the towel break with not a lot to split these two teams. It's been a good match.
Seo SeungJae and Chae YuJung of South Korea have taken the early lead in the evening's last game against Malaysia's Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
But the Malaysians fight back and it's level.
Chou returns the shuttle into the net on match point and it's a quick end to this match. Axelsen will play his compatriot Anders Antonsen in the final.
Score: Axelsen 21-16, 21-9 Chou in 45 minutes
There is only really one winner from here unless Chou improves quickly.
Score: 21-16, 11-5
The Dane is all over Chou here and unfortunately for the world number two, he can't handle Axelsen.
This second game has been all one-way, with the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist running out to an 8-2 lead.
Axelsen takes the first game after pulling away at the end there. From 16-15, he wins five of the next six points.
Axelsen has been pegged back by his opponent. From 11-8 at the towel break, they are now level.
Chou goes behind Axelsen early but is battling hard to get the points back. His cross-court shots are proving too much for Axelsen to handle.
From 6-2 down, Chou has closed the gap to 9-7.
Did you know Chou doesn't train with a coach and uses belly dancing in his training?
World number four Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is about to face world number two Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei in the second men's semi-final for the right to face Anders Antonsen. Who will come up tops?
Axelsen leads the head-to-head 12-2 and of course beat Chou in the group stages.
Seven straight points for the Thais and they're through to the final. Gicquel/Delrue just lost their way there.
Score: P/T 21-15, 21-17 G/D in 44 minutes
Gicquel/Delrue actually pulled ahead to 17-14 in this second game there but the Thais have pulled it back to 17-17.
Another really close one in the second game, with P/T up 11-10.
Can Gicquel and Delrue close the game and take this to a decider?
"I fought hard, he's a tricky opponent. He [Wang] got a lot of shuttles back. He fights really hard, it was a tough match with two guys fighting. I will go back to the hotel, get a massage, be in the tub with cold and hot water, recover, relax and watch the match, then I'll figure out the plan. This means a lot to me, we've not played much so it's great to come back and do it with a fine result. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, it's going to be a tough match. I'm happy but I'm not satisfied yet."
The Thais have taken the first game after managing to pull away from Gicquel and Delrue, who were keeping pace with them for a while.
Gicquel and Delrue were leading in a see-saw first game, but the Thais have just edged out front at the towel break.
Score: P/T 11-10 G/D
Thailand's Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai are about to face France's Gicquel/Delrue in the second mixed doubles semi final.
Olympic Channel spoke to the Thai pair last year about their unlikely friendship with two of their Chinese rivals. Have a watch:
What an incredible match.
To and fro all the way and the Danish world number three Antonsen, after an hour and 20 minutes, finally defeats Wang.
Score: Antonsen 21-18, 14-21, 21-16 Wang in 80 minutes
Still nothing between these two as Wang is defying his world number 12 ranking.
Some great saves in a rally from Wang and Antonsen sends his next attempted smash into the net.
16-15 to Antonsen.
We're at the towel break in the decider and it has been, like the first game, neck-and-neck.
Antonsen is narrowly ahead, 11-9. Anyone's game.
Score: 21-18, 14-21, 11-9
Some quotes from Carolina Marín reacting to her win:
"I have been really focusing on every point in every game, I think I just showed this determination that I wanted to win on court. And I did. I feel happy with my performance. Three tournaments in a row is tough. We've been here a month already. Myself and Tai will have played three finals in a row, so it's tough but I am looking forward to tomorrow. One more final, I'm really happy to play and give my best tomorrow and enjoy one more game."
That second game went by far quicker than the first as Wang, the Chinese Taipei shuttler, turned it on.
There was a video challenge on game point from Antonsen but it was unsuccessful and this match is going to a decider.
Score: 21-18, 14-21
The Dane claws ten points back while Wang continues to try to assert himself. Five points in it.
Score: 21-18, 13-18
Wang is surging here in the second game, and Antonsen has no answer.
The Chinese Taipei athlete is in full control.
Score: 21-18, 3-11
There is not a lot separating these two, who are still neck-and-neck in a very close first game.
Wang has saved two game points, and Antonsen is under a bit of pressure.
The Dane finally converts on the third game point in 27 minutes.
Some strong rallies between the pair here as they trade smashes and drop shots at the net.
Both men's singles semi-finals have set up to be Denmark vs Chinese Taipei match-ups, with Anders Antonsen facing Wang Tzu-wei in the first semi.
There's little to choose between these two, with world number 3 just edging it at the break 11-8 as Wang loses a video challenge right before the towel break.
Score: Antonsen 11-8 Wang
Alas, too little, too late for Pornpawee, who showed glimpses of the form that got her into the semis but was no match for the Olympic champ.
Marín does well at the net before stepping back to set up a smash which Pornpawee can't get too, and that's the game and the match.
She will play Tai Tzu-ying in the final. It's the first time the Spanish shuttler has reached this stage of the tournament.
Score: Marín 21-13, 21-13 Pornpawee in 40 minutes
Pornpawee has found her groove again, just as she did in the first half of the first game.
She's won 8 of the last 13 points to close the gap to 16-11 in the second.
Score: 21-13, 16-11
Pornpawee was of course the surprise winner of Group B, seeing off her compatriot Ratchanok Intanon and India's Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu.
However, Marín continues to dominate in this second game and Pornpawee has no answer.
Score: 21-13, 11-3
This is better from the Spaniard as she asserts her authority again.
Pornpawee has no real answers to Marín – the second half of that set going in the Spaniard's favour by six points.
The Olympic champ was looking too strong for her Thai opponent but Pornpawee has hit back.
Marín raced into the lead, but the Thai started clawing together a number of points and there's only two points in it as they take the first break.
Score: Marín 11-9 Pornpawee
The players are nearly ready to go again in Bangkok with the second women's singles semi-final featuring home hope Pornpawee Chochuwong against Olympic champion Carolina Marín. Will the Spaniard return to winning ways?
So that brings an end to the first session of an enthralling semi-final Saturday at the BWF World Tour Finals.
The South Korean women’s doubles pair of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan were the first to confirm their spot in the final, beating Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean.
They were joined a bit later by compatriots Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong, who edged out local pair Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in a three-game thriller.
World no. 2 Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan pulled off a dominating display against Choi SoiGyu and Seo Seung Jae to give themselves a chance of a second-straight BWF World Tour Finals title.
Top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying then put on a clinical display against An Se Young to make consecutive finals while Lee Wang and Wang Chi-Lin continued their incredible unbeaten run to go through to their first final.
That was some way for badminton fans to begin the weekend. We go off for a short break but do join us when the action resumes in the second half, which will begin at 5:00 PM Bangkok time. See you soon!
“I think we started off really well, tactically we were doing everything right. When the game got tight, a bit nervy and edgy, maybe we lost a bit of thought in our shots. They are a very tough pair to beat. We're always learning. Every time we get on court, we're learning from top players because at the end of the day that's where we want to be. We want to be beating these top players in one to two years.” - Sean Vendy
And they continue their unbeaten run! Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin have been at their absolute best since arriving in Thailand and though they were pushed hard today, they found a way to get past the hurdles. Superb win!
Score: 22-20, 21-17
There is absolutely nothing between the two pairs right now but Ben Lane and Sean Vendy have done incredibly well to keep pace with their opponents from Chinese Taipei. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin trail again and will look to mount another comeback to take this in straight games.
Score: 22-20, 10-11
Brilliant recovery that from Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin. They were trailing at the halfway mark but never looked like conceding and brought their attacking, fast-paced game to the fore to take the opening game.
A frenetic start to the match and it is a narrow lead for the Englishmen. Lane and Vendy defended well and have claimed the points with some sharp winners but expect Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin to hit back soon.
In the final match of the first session of semi-final Saturday, the unbeaten Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin take on Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in the men's doubles semis.
Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin have been dominant for the past three weeks, winning the Yonex Thailand Open and Toyota Thailand Open titles, and also won all three group stage matches at the BWF World Tour Finals. Ben Lane and Sean Vendy will no doubt start as the underdogs here.
"I told myself before entering the match that I needed to play patiently because An Se Young is a player who doesn't make mistakes easily. I hope that I can prepare well for tomorrow's final. Everyone is tired because we're in the third week of these tournaments and I just wish to focus now and be patient." - Tai Tzu Ying
She needed to dig into her reserves in the first game but Tai Tzu Ying put on a terrific display in the second to clinch this semi-final quite easily. An Se Young competed well but was no match for the top-ranked star. It will nevertheless have been a great experience for the young South Korean.
Score: 21-18, 21-12
Super stuff from Tai Tzu Ying in the second game so far. Body attacks, half-smashes, and deceptive drops - we have seen it all from the Chinese Taipei world No. 1. An Se Young needs to find another gear here.
Score: 21-18, 11-4
As expected, this has been a closely contested semi-final with both An Se Young and Tai Tzu Ying going toe-to-toe with each other. But the world No. 1 has just shown that extra bit of quality and incisiveness when needed to take the opening game.
A super start to the semi-final and Tai Tzu Ying has a two-point lead at the break. She trailed early on but went on the attack soon to win her points and has also displayed some of those famous shuttle recovery skills. An Se Young is not far behind though.
World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying will be up against South Korean prodigy An Se Young in the women's singles semi-final now.
An Se Young pulled off a great three-game win over a rampaging Carolina Marin on Friday, handing the Olympic champion her first loss in three weeks so Tai Tzu Ying has quite a challenge on her hands. Can she negate An Se Young's threat?
And its done and dusted. Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan are through to the men's doubles final for a second-consecutive season.
Choi SoiGyu and Seo Seung Jae just did not look the part in the second game. Every attack of theirs was blunted expertly and Ahsan-Setiawan were clinical with their penetrative smashes to finish off the match in just 34 minutes.
Score: 23-21, 21-13
Too good from Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. They realised the need to take the initiative and came flying off the blocks in the second game to build a commanding lead at the break.
Score: 23-21, 11-4
A brilliant first game and the Indonesians have won it. Hendra Setiawan, in particular, has been tremendous with his line judgments and cute drop shots. Choi SoiGyu and Seo Seung Jae have not played poorly at all but just need to pick the right moments to attack.
This has been a breathless start to the match as both pairs have been superb with their shuttle placements and instinctive netplay. Nothing much to choose right now but Ahsan-Setiawan have a narrow lead.
The action does not stop anytime soon though. World No. 2 Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan will take to the court against South Koreans Choi SoiGyu and Seo Seung Jae in the first men's doubles semi-final of the day.
SoiGyu-Seung Jae had beaten the experienced Indonesians in straight games in their group stage match, so we are set for a competitive encounter. Can Ahsan-Setiawan set the record straight?
"I feel emotional. I'm sad. We have played the Koreans twice before and we have to accept this result today. They played very well and planned their shots. The Koreans know how to apply the pressure and have big smashes. We don't have power like them, so we needed to use tactics against them,” - Jongkolphan Kititharakul
An epic game of badminton and its the in-form Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong who make the women's doubles final where they will face Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan in a repeat of the Toyota Thailand Open final a week back.
Kititharakul and Prajongjai looked off the boil in the third game. They were unable to close out points, could not hold their nerve when it mattered the most, and the South Koreans are too good to not punish them. Scintillating stuff!
Score: 21-11, 12-21, 21-16
The South Koreans have shown great reflexes on their defence and have expertly finished off points when the opportunity has presented itself. They trailed early on but won nine points in a row to lead in the decider. Kititharakul and Prajongjai look dangerous though and need some luck going their way to get back.
Score: 21-11, 12-21, 11-6
Kititharakul and Prajongjai have turned this match on its head. They conceded the opening game tamely but have been brilliant in the second, mixing up their smashes and drops to go with some great defending as well. Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong need to bounce back soon.
Score: 21-11, 12-21
Kititharakul and Pranjongjai have found the response they needed. The Thai pair have co-ordinated well on the badminton court, switching positions seamlessly and exploring all parts of the court, even drawing some errors from their opponents.
Score: 21-11, 4-11
The South Koreans seem to be in a hurry to finish off the match. Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong have shown why they have not been beaten for the past two weeks, with their relentless attacks proving too much for Kititharakul and Prajongjai.
This has been a good start to the match from Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong, who laid down the marker by winning the first four points, with their attacks having the intensity we have come to expect of them. Kititharakul and Prajongjai have won some good points with their drops but need to do it more consistently.
The second women's doubles semis pits the Toyota Thailand Open champions Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong against Yonex Thailand Open finalists Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.
The South Koreans have been unbeaten thus far in the BWF World Tour Finals, a run that included a straight games win over their Thai opponents for the day. Can Kititharakul-Prajongjai upstage the in-form pair?
"They were quite fast. In these three weeks, we learned a lot. The shuttle is slow and we have to learn about how to use the court and the speed of the shuttle, and improve our mentality and fitness" - Lee Meng Yean
And as expected, Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan wrap up the win quite quickly. Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean did have their moments but never enough to trouble the South Korean pair, who are through to the women's doubles final.
Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan will soon find out who their opponents for the title will be as the second women's doubles semi will be underway soon. Will it be their compatriots Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong or the home pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai? Stay tuned to find out.
Score: 21-14, 21-15
The second game has followed pretty much the same script as the first. Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan just seem unbeatable at the moment, and virtually have a foot in the final already. Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean have committed far too many unforced errors and have not been able to get in their groove so far.
Score: 21-14, 11-6
This has been an exhibition in attacking badminton from Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan to win the first game. They have barely given the Malaysians any chance and while the smashes have been typically powerful, Shin Seung Chan especially has been immaculate with her drop shots so far.
A 22-shot rally for the first point seemed to have set the tone for a keenly contested opening game but Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan have just been more clinical with their attacks and defended well when needed. Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean need a big response here.
Up first we have the women's doubles semi-finals. South Korea's Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan - finalists at the Toyota Thailand Open last week - go up against Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean, who themselves edged out top seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu.
These pairs have squared up once before already at the BWF World Tour Finals in Group A of the women's doubles. Lee-Shin emerged victorious on that occasion, which sets things up nicely this time around with a place in the final at stake.
Who will come out on top? We'll find out soon.
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the knockout stages of the BWF World Tour Finals!
We're down to the semi-final stage on Saturday in Thailand, as the final four remaining badminton players in each event battle for the end-of-season honours.
Bookmark this page and join us from around 10:00 AM Bangkok time for live blog updates from day 4 of the BWF World Tour Finals.
More details of what's coming up on Saturday are below.
27 - 31 Jan
BWF World Tour Finals - Bangkok
Friday saw 2017 badminton world champion Viktor Axelsen and men's doubles pair Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin keep up their perfect records at these Finals. They go into Saturday's knockout stage as the only players to remain undefeated in Bangkok, after Olympic champ Carolina Marin succumbed to Korean teenager An Se Young.
Tai Tzu Ying kept her tournament hopes alive by defeating Ratchanok Intanon while Thailand Open winners, Greysia Polli and Apriyani Rahayu were knocked out of the tournament by Malaysia's women's doubles pairing of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean.
Home favourites Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai can still pull off the hat-trick of titles after clinching the final semi-final spot on offer.
Our team will be providing updates of all those semi-final games, plus action, and reaction too. Here's how they'll line-up on Saturday.
The men's singles semi-finals line-up like this:
The women's singles semi-finals are:
In the women's doubles pairs, these are the semi-finals:
The two men's doubles semi's are:
And the final four in the mixed doubles look like this:
And here's how the full draw looks:
Meanwhile, someone we won't be seeing at the weekend is world champion PV Sindhu. The Indian is aiming to bounce back from her disappointing three-tournament outing here in Bangkok. You can watch her interview below: