BADMINTON

Hu Yun turns back the clock to book spot in Japan Open final

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 12:22am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 12:22am

Hong Kong's Hu Yun continued his giant-killing form in the Japan Open on Saturday as the veteran stormed into the men's singles final in Tokyo.

Having stunned second seed Chen Long of China in the quarter-finals, the 32-year-old overcame another seeded player - Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark - in the super series event .

Hu won the gruelling semi-final 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 21-15) to set up a clash with top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. Lee beat fourth seed and home favourite Tago Kenichi 21-15, 21-17 in the other semi.

It will be Hu's second appearance in a super series final after the 2012 China Masters in Changzhou where Hu lost to Chen.

Hu is a quality player but unfortunately he has been troubled by a shoulder injury for a long time
Tim He Yiming

"Hu is a quality player but unfortunately he has been troubled by a shoulder injury for a long time," said head coach Tim He Yiming. "His world ranking has also dropped from a career high of fourth to 15.

"Hu has overcome the injury but still needs a good tournament to regain his confidence.

"Hopefully, he can get back to his best after the tournament in Tokyo."

Hu has never won a game from Lee in their six encounters.

"Lee is always a formidable opponent and Hu's job will be to push the Malaysian as hard as possible," said the coach.

He, meanwhile, said up-and-coming Lee Chun-hei still had a lot to learn on the international stage after Lee and partner Chau Hoi-wah lost in the mixed doubles semi-finals.

The Hong Kong pair missed a final spot after their 21-19, 21-10 defeat to Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels of Germany.

"Lee is only 20 and needs more international exposure to tackle a difficult situation during a match," said the coach.