Knee injury can’t stop An Se-young’s gold medal smash

When leading the first game of the women’s singles final against China’s Chen Yufei 18-17 at the 19th Asian Games, Korean badminton player An Se-young suddenly sat down on the court, clutching her right knee.She took a brief medical break and returned to the court, but her movements were not sharp or active as she had done before.After a close 21-18 first game win, she was led by her opponent throughout the second game by a margin of up to five points. Even though she looked in pain, however, An did not let Chen get an easy win and scored 17 points to place pressure on her.”During the game, I heard a crack in my knee, feeling like something dislocated,” the gold medalist said in a post-match press conference. “I should get a medical checkup for a more precise assessment, but it was very painful.”

With the pain troubling her, the reigning world champion and world No. 1 did not give up and regained her water-tight defense and precise net shots in the final third game. She opened the game 5-0 and stretched the lead to more than 10 points and claimed the gold medal.She said she just thought about adding one point in the deciding set however she felt pain and the Chinese opponent reacted.”I thought nothing but one point,” said the athlete. “I just told myself to stay awake until the end of the game.”This medal is An’s first singles title at the Asian Games and her second gold at the Hangzhou Games following the one in the women’s team event.It is the first time that Korea won the women’s singles competition since legendary player Bang Soo-hyun took the title in 1994.

And Saturday’s gold is also her revenge on Chen, who beat An at the two big events of the 2018 Asian Games and the Tokyo Olympics.”I could walk despite the pain, so I just competed because this might be my first and last chance (for gold),” she said. “Maybe there will be a next chance, though, but the moment will never come again. So I just stayed firm.”An now has two gold medals at the Hangzhou Games after the title in the team event, joining a group of Korean athletes with multiple gold medals, including swimmer Kim Woo-min and fencer Oh Sang-uk.An rose to the world No. 1 spot earlier this week to become the first South Korean badminton player to do so after Bang. And she became the first Korean to win a women’s singles title in the world 스포츠토토존 championships’ 46-year history

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