Badminton

Carolina Marín, Viktor Axelsen both clinch second straight title in Thailand

Olympic champ Marín adds to first Thailand Open win last week by beating world no. 1 Tai Tzu-ying in final again; Axelsen sees off compatriot Vittinghus

By ZK Goh ·

Olympic badminton champion Carolina Marín has doubled up on BWF World Tour Super 1000 success in Thailand after beating world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei in the final of the second Thailand Open on Sunday (24 January).

In a repeat of the final from last week's first Thailand Open, the Spaniard dispatched her opponent in straight games, although Tai pushed Marín close in both.

Marín needed 48 minutes to defeat her Chinese Taipei opponent 21–19, 21–17, setting herself up well for next week's BWF World Tour Finals also to be held in Bangkok.

It was the first time she has managed to score two consecutive straight-games victories over Tai since 2015, when she racked up three such wins in a row.

"I feel extremely happy. Two victories in two weeks, it's an amazing way to start the year," Marín told the BWF.

"I said to myself and my team that for 2021 I was going to be a new player, with a new mindset with more focus on the game. There are some big events coming up like the World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, so it's going to be an important year.

"Two victories in two weeks is really unbelievable."

Axelsen doubles up too

Rio 2016 men's singles bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen was also triumphant for the second straight week.

He defeated surprise finalist and fellow Dane Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus, the only non-seed in any of the five finals, 21–11 21–7 in 40 minutes.

"Winning back-to-back titles here in Thailand is a big, big achievement for me," he told BWF afterwards. "I haven't played for a long time and to come back here and win two tournaments in a row is an extraordinary achievement for me. I'm really proud."

There was joy for hosts Thailand as Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai saw off South Korea's Seo Seung Jae and Chae YuJung in the mixed doubles final 21–16, 22–20.

Earlier, there was a first BWF Super 1000 title for South Korea as women's doubles pair Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong won an all-Korean final against teammates Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan 21–18, 21–19.

Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin defeated Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the men's doubles final 21–13, 21–18.