AS IT HAPPENED – BWF World Tour Finals, Day 5: Finals day in Bangkok – Olympic Channel

Posted: February 5, 2021 at 7:51 am


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After three long weeks of competition in Thailand, the season concluded with five down-to-the-wire finals as BWF World Tour Finals champions were crowned. Re-live the day's action and reaction.

Welcome to the Olympic Channel live blog from Finals Day at the BWF World Tour Finals for the 2020 season in Bangkok, Thailand.

All times are Bangkok local time (GMT + 7 hours). If you missed any of the action as Tai Tzu-ying and Anders Antonsen claimed the singles titles, as well as from the three doubles finals, you can catch up below.

Watch the finals of the HSBC BWF Badminton World Tour Finals 2020 in Bangko...

What a day of badminton it has been.

Indeed, what a week or three weeks of badminton. Credit to the BWF and Thailand for successfully pulling off this bubble and three well-run tournaments.

The hosts have something to celebrate at the end of it all with Dechapol and Sapsiree winning the country's first Finals crown.

"I feel very happy and proud to be Thai," Sapsiree said. "Today we knew we could do it and have more confidence going forward. We will try our best at the next one too."

We were also treated to great performances in all five categories over the last three weeks.

This concludes the 2020 season, with the players due to begin the new World Tour season with the Swiss Open in Basel from 2-7 March.

Thanks for joining us this past week and see you soon! In the meantime, don't forget to check out all our badminton coverage on Olympic Channel.

The Thais gain match point after Dechapol deals well with a quick return at the net.

Unfortunately for them, Seo and Chae haven't really given a good account of themselves in this deciding game.

A looping shot from Dechapol to the far court and Chae sets up a hard return, but only into the net! Hosts Thailand have won a title!

Score: Seo/Chae 18-21, 21-8, 8-21 Dechapol/Sapsiree

Some words from the beaten men's singles finallist, Viktor Axelsen:

"I wouldn't say I'm as satisfied with my game as I have been the other days. There were way too many mistakes and bad decisions. I think mentally I've used up a lot of energy. Anders played really well and I want to congratulate him. It wasn't for me today, but I can still look back at a great three weeks."

11-2 in just nine minutes of this decider.

It's a long road back for Seo and Chae from here.

Well, well, well.

The Thais are out to a 7-1 lead in this decider. What has happened to Seo and Chae?

A 43-shot rally, the longest of the match, is won by the Thais as Dechapol smashes it just beyond Chae's reach.

Great play from the Thais.

Score: 18-21, 21-8, 1-3

If anything, it's Dechapol who's struggling more of the Thai pair, not Sapsiree.

Seo and Chae are controlling the rhythm and they're enjoying their badminton right now.

Game point up for the Koreans and Dechapol tamely returns the serve into the net.

Score: 18-21, 21-8

This is odd. Seo and Chae are not really under any pressure here from the Thais.

Is Sapsiree's hand giving her issues?

That's the interval. The Koreans lead by eight points.

Score: 18-21, 11-3

Anders Antonsen can't quite believe he's beaten Viktor Axelsen.

"I'm shocked and I'm so, so happy of course. It's overwhelming, I didn't expect to go all the way. It's amazing to get a title as big as this one. It's hard to process and I don't even know what to say. I've had a tough month, things have not been working well for me and I've been struggling a lot, so to win here is unreal."

A powerful smash from Dechapol is seen off by Chae. Sapsiree's return looks like it's going out, but Seo plays it and only finds the net.

Game to the Thais.

Score: 18-21

Runners-up at the 2019 world champs Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Youth Olympi...

Sapsiree is getting a cut on her right hand tended to.

The Thais are on game point.

Here we go six straight points for Seo and Chae.

All square at 18-18.

The Thais have strengthened their grip on this match and Seo/Chae look a bit lost right now.

A shot goes long from the Koreans and Dechapol/Sapsiree are up big.

Score: 12-18

It's Dechapol and Sapsiree ahead at the interval though as they string together a good series of points.

Score: 8-11

Seo and Chae have started well, and are looking bright. But the home pair no doubt cheered on by millions on TV are keeping things close.

Score: S/C 6-5 D/S

We've got one last match to wrap up the championships, Seo/Chae (KOR) v Dechapol/Sapsiree (THA) a re-match of their group stage meeting, which the Koreans won.

Dechapol and Sapsiree beat Seo and Chae in last week's Toyota Thailand Open final. Can Seo/Chae overturn that result?

Along with collecting his runner-up medal and trophies, Axelsen is receiving a prize for the best men's player through this Asian Leg of BWF World tour events.

Quick net play results in Axelsen sending a lazy-looking return wide and he walks away in disgust.

Antonsen sinks to his knees and lets out a big roar. Second game aside, he played well.

Score: Axelsen 16-21, 21-5, 17-21 Antonsen

Axelsen took a 17-16 lead but Antonsen has pegged him back.

Great flick of the wrist to hit a cross-court shot Axelsen couldn't get to.

Now it's championship point for Antonsen.

The world number three is hoping to tie his career head-to-head with Axelsen at 3-3 (Axelsen leads 3-2).

Axelsen, bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympics, still trails in the decider but he's closed the gap to 14-15.

They've swapped sides on court now at the interval in the third game.

Antonsen is 11-8 up.

This is better from the world no. 3, who's put that second game behind him.

That was a very weird performance in the second game but he doesn't seem hurt and he's forcing a nervous Axelsen into mistakes.

Antonsen ahead by three.

Score: 16-21, 21-5, 6-9

"Finally, I won. When I can remain calm and patient, I can win the game. In the end it was a tight game and I was tired and happy at the same time. For every match, I hope I can be patient in my style of play, so before this match today I kept telling myself that I had to play patiently."

Well Antonsen really had no answer there.

Axelsen blitzes through in less than 10 minutes. Is Antonsen hurt?

Score: 16-21, 21-5

Well this is a turn-up for the books. Antonsen has lost his concentration, perhaps?

Two failed video challenges in a row as well. They seemed like desperate challenges.

Axelsen is up by 10 at the towel break in this second game.

Score: 16-21, 11-1

An audacious between-the-legs shot from Antonsen and although Axelsen does well to recover, he loses the point.

Antonsen then takes the next point but loses a video review on game point.

On Axelsen's serve, however, Antonsen hits a forehand smash winner to take the first game.

Score: 16-21

Unlike the women's singles final, while this match is close, it's notably of a slightly lower quality.

Both men look nervous and neither wants to go on the aggressive. Too many errors.

Score: 14-17

Axelsen slips at the net and Antonsen hits an easy winner to take the lead.

A return from Axelsen off Antonsen's service goes long and the world no. 3 leads at the interval.

Score: 9-11

Antonsen is actually the higher-ranked player in the world rankings, at third compared to Axelsen's fourth.

Both men will be innately aware of the other's strengths and weaknesses as Danish teammates.

Early on in this first game and it's level.

Score: 7-7

Time for an all-Danish men's singles final between Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen.

Marn and Tai are on the verge. Aggressive from both. This looks like it's going long from Tai

But it's in! Marn left it thinking it was out but it lands in bounds and the Chinese Taipei world number 1 has her third Finals tournament title!

Score: Tai 14-21, 21-8, 21-19 Marn

Tai, who was five points back at one point, has match point as Marn can't deal with a drop shot!

19-19! Marn with an unforced error, returning into the net.

Wow!

Marn pulls a great save out of the bag on another long rally and she's two points away.

Marn gets a verbal warning from the chair umpire as the game starts to slip back in the other direction.

Tai is growing in confidence.

Score: 14-21, 21-8, 15-17

Some words from Tai's compatriot Wang Chi-lin, one half of the winning men's doubles pair from earlier.

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AS IT HAPPENED - BWF World Tour Finals, Day 5: Finals day in Bangkok - Olympic Channel

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February 5th, 2021 at 7:51 am

Posted in Thai Chi