VICTOR Team concludes another eventful season for the VICTOR players and counts down our top 5 biggest headlines. How many have you guessed right?
5) FEELS LIKE HOME
Tai Tzu Ying
from Taiwan upped her level whenever playing in the Japanese capital. She’s made it to at least the final-4 stage in her three outings at the Japan Open. In 2012, Tai broke through as the youngest woman ever, at 18 years and 3 months of age, to win a BWF Superseries title, while Akane Yamaguchi made her home crowd proud by winning and pushing the record also at the event in 2013, where she beat Tai in the semifinals, to 16 years and 3 months. Tai was one match away from repeating the feat in her 2014 campaign, but failed to world no.1 Li Xuerui. However, a final showing was already her season best (before she took her third career victory in Hong Kong in late November).
Tai Tzu Ying
, Women's Singles runner-up of the Japan Open Superseries 2014.
Tai Tzu Ying
never fell before the quarterfinals at the Japan Open, winning the 2012 edition.
4) MORE HOSTING DUTIES
In the year of the Asian Games, VICTOR announced a 3-year exclusive partnership with the Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC)
to provide players and all BAC’s major events with its quality court equipment and shuttlecocks. VICTOR would be the equipment sponsor for all the top regional events in Asia. “VICTOR, as a Taiwanese brand, looks forward to providing equipment of the best quality to help players reach their full potential, and to helping shape the future success of Asia,” said Bill Chen, VICTOR’s President. “We are happy that we have forged this close relationship with BAC that will further expand VICTOR’s position and presence as the leading badminton brand in the sport.” Built onto the recognition of the Asia’s governing body in badminton, VICTOR later joined as a partner of the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee
to provide finest quality equipment and shuttlecocks for elite Asian athletes in the Games.
Sung Ji Hyun
, first Asian Champ in singles from Korea in 10 years.
Son Wan Ho
played an important role in Korea's gold-medal winning run in the Men's Team competition at the Incheon Asian Games. VICTOR was the exclusive sponsor in badminton.
3) IN THE CLUTCH
Ko Sung Hyun
and Shin Baek Choel
, Korea’s no.3 men’s doubles team, came up clutch when they needed it. At the prestigious World Championships, the 12th seeded combo stunned the badminton world with surprise wins over the likes of World No.3, Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa, and compatriots, World No.1 Lee Yong Dae
/Yoo Yeon Seong
en route to their first “World Champion” honor, ending a 14-year drought for Korea of a men’s doubles gold medal at the most respected event, after their 1999 triumph by Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon.
Korea had three teams in the final-4 in the Men's Doubles at this year's World Championships, with Ko
reigning as the new champs.
2) THE THREE-PEAT
2013 World Champions Liliyana Natsir
and Tontowi Ahmad
successfully defended their third consecutive victory at the Superseries-Premier-leveled All England Open. Oddly enough, in a final déjà vu against World No.1s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, Natsir and Ahamd took again 42 minutes, not even a minute different from last year, with the exact same scoreline of 21-13 21-17 to clinch the title. It was like 2013 all over again, but the history had been rewritten.
1) A CLEAN SWEEP
In June, a month that was packed with three Superseries events in a row for the first time in BWF history, Lee Yong Dae
and Yoo Yeon Seong
proved who’s the real deal. Their hot streak began in Tokyo at the Japan Open. Won it. Taking down then No.1s Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan in the finale. And then the next week it was Jakarta for the Indonesia Open. Won it. Beating the top pair again. Finally it was Sydney for the Australian Open. With the Indonesian absent, they twirled through to their third Superseries titles in as many weeks, celebrating an unprecedented Superseries hat-trick that moved them atop BWF World Rankings later in August. It became the third time Lee achieved such feat in the men’s doubles with a third different partner. (Lee also reached No.1 in the mixed doubles with Lee Hyo Jung, his 2008 Olympics-winning partner.)
Yoo Yeon Seong
at the Australian Open, as he completed a Superseries hat-trick all in one month with Lee. The team was later boosted to the No.1 in the world rankings.