Winning the World Championship is just the beginning

Winning the World Championship is just the beginning…Ahn Se-Young “My dream is a ‘Grand Slam'”

After becoming the first South Korean badminton player to win a singles title at the World Individual Championships, Ahn Se-young (21-Samsung Life) realized that she had just taken the first step in fulfilling her dreams as an athlete and immediately looked to the next staircase to conquer.

“It was my first competition after being ranked No. 1 in the world, so there was a lot of pressure and it was hard at times, but I handled it well with the confidence of being No. 1, and I’m happy that I was able to bring good results,” Ahn said after returning home from the 2023 World Championships in Denmark on Sept. 29.

Ahn Se-young defeated Carolina Marin (Spain) 2-0 (21-12, 21-10) in the women’s singles final of the World Championships on Sunday. This is the first singles title in Korean badminton history for both men and women.

Ahn, who last month became the first South Korean player to be ranked No. 1 in women’s singles in 27 years after Suh Bang-hyun, signaled that her time had come by sweeping the subsequent World Championships.

“I don’t think there’s anything particularly good about going into a tournament as the No. 1 player in the world, and I was worried because I felt like I had to lead, not follow,” she admitted, but Ahn proved her “No. 1 status” at the tournament.

After dropping the first game to Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) in the quarterfinals, she bounced back to defeat her nemesis in the semifinals, Chen Yuefei (CHN).

“Chen Yufei is a player I’ve always found tricky, but I think I was able to confidently play the way I wanted to,” Ahn said.

“Okuhara was the first player I played against, so I was very nervous, so I thought it would be important to relax quickly, so I focused on that. My coach pointed out that I kept starting defensively underneath, so I tried to figure it out quickly and execute.”

Speaking in English after the World Championships awards ceremony, he said, “My English teacher told me to throw with confidence, so I did. What I learned is a style that you have to use right away,” she smiled.

Ahn said his goal is to win the Olympics, World Championships, Asian Games and Asian Championships, which he described as a “grand slam”.

“I’m happy and proud of myself for getting the first place in one of them, the World Championships,” she said, adding, “I want to do all of them once, the Asian Games, the Olympics, and the Asian Championships.”

The Asian Games are just a month away, and he’s eager to see what he can do.

“My goal for the Asian Games is definitely a gold medal,” Ahn said. “I’ve found that when I get greedy, it often doesn’t work out. “If you take it one game at a time and do your best every day, good results will come. I think the process is also important, so it will be difficult, but I will do my best to overcome it.”

The Asian players she met at the World Championships are potential medal contenders at the Asian Games.

“Sometimes you don’t know what changes you’re going to get from your opponent, and I think it’s my job to prepare for that. I think it’s polite to do your best when dealing with athletes in any competition, so I will prepare well,” she said.

As for the pressure of reaching the final or winning a medal being taken for granted, he was confident: “It’s something you have to do as an athlete, 먹튀검증토토사이트 and if you overcome it, it’s a proud achievement, so I’ll try to get through it.”

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