Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying defeated South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun Dec. 21 to earn the gold medal in the women’s singles finals at the Badminton World Federation’s Destination Dubai World Superseries.
Ranked No. 9 in the world, Tai thrashed No. 5 Sung 21-17 and 21-12 in a best of three series in just 36 minutes, flying home with a cash prize of US$80,000. The 20-year-old phenomenon is the first Taiwan player to win the grand title.
Tai was very much in control from the onset of the match and overpowered her rival with ease. In contrast, Sung made several fatal mistakes, hitting the shuttle out of the border line, ending the second game rather quickly.
“It was a relatively easy win for me, because she made many mistakes,” Tai said. “Also, I was extremely calm this time.”
Nicknamed “Little Tai” by the local press, Tai also won the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open last month. She was the second-place winner at last year’s Superseries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Her father, Tai Nan-kai, was ecstatic upon hearing the news in Kaohsiung. “Everything went as smoothly as we had hoped before the game,” he said. “I’m really proud that she has made a name for herself in the world badminton arena.
“However, we can relax and celebrate for just one day,” said the proud father, who is also director of the Badminton Committee of the Kaohsiung Municipal Athletic Association. “Tomorrow we begin preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”