World number one An Se-young became the first woman from South Korea to win singles gold at the BWF World Championships when she beat former champion Carolina Marin 21-12 21-10 in the final on Sunday (Aug 27) in Copenhagen.
An, the 21-year-old top seed, rounded off a perfect tournament by beating two Olympic champions en route to the title. She had knocked out Tokyo gold medallist Chen Yu Fei in straight games in the semi-finals on Saturday.
“I’m so happy to win the match today. I enjoyed playing,” An said after receiving her gold medal.
Spain’s Marin, the 2016 Olympic champion who is on the comeback trail after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, was looking to win her fourth world title but she was no match for An, who wrapped up the contest in 42 minutes.
An won the last 11 points in a row after the score was tied at 10-10 in the second game to hand Marin her first loss in the final of the competition.
An was South Korea’s first women’s finalist in 30 years. Bang Soo-hyun lost the 1993 final to Indonesia’s Susi Susanti.
The men’s final was a much closer affair where Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn came from behind to prevail 19-21 21-18 21-7 against Japan’s Kodai Naraoka.
The pair were neck and neck after two lengthy games which lasted 81 minutes, but Vitidsarn stormed ahead in a dominant final game to secure victory and become the first Thai player to win a men’s singles gold.