Achieving a gold medal at the All England Open in ‘the first final of the year’ “I know how to win.”
Lee So-hee (right) and Baek Hana with gold medals around their necks

Professional gamer-turned-broadcaster Hong Jin-ho is famous for memes related to the number ‘2’ as he had many runner-up finishes during his time as a player.

Looking at last year alone, the women’s doubles team of Lee So-hee (Incheon International Airport) and Baek Hana (MG Saemaeul Geumgo) could be called the Hong Jin-ho of badminton.

Lee So-hee and Baek Hana, ranked second in the world, placed second seven times in the finals of international competitions in which they advanced to 10 times last year.

He also won a silver medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which was postponed by a year, and had to be satisfied with second place in major competitions such as the All England Open and World Tour Finals.

Lee So-hee and Baek Hana, who had a disappointing year in 2023, immediately shook off the curse of ‘2’ in their first final this year.

Sohee Lee and Hana Baek defeated Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (ranked 5th in the world) on the 17th to reach the top of the All England Open.

Lee So-hee and Baek Hana returned home through Incheon International Airport on the 19th with a shining gold medal around their necks.

Sohee Lee said, “Last year, after finishing second so many times, I thought to myself, ‘People who have eaten meat say they eat it well, but maybe we don’t know how to eat it?’” She smiled and said, “It feels good to win right away in the first final this year.”

Baek Hana also looked back and said, “Last year, I felt like I would come in second place even if I went to the finals. This time, I think I put my mind down and it worked out well.”

Lee So-hee and Baek Hana lost to team mates Kim So-young (Incheon International Airport) and Gong Hee-yong (Jeonbuk Bank) in the finals of this tournament last year.This year, he succeeded in exacting revenge in the rematch that took place in the semifinals.

Lee So-hee recalled, “I met So-young and Hee-yong in the semifinals and had a tough game. After winning that game, my desire to win grew even greater, and this time, I had a strong desire to seize the opportunity.”

It is also fortunate that the jinx was overcome four months before the opening of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Lee So-hee, who did not win a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo Games, said calmly, “Rather than being too greedy just for the medal, I just want to prepare as much as I can.”

In fact, considering that they have been working together since October of the year before last, being runner-up seven times in one year is a huge achievement.

Baek Hana expressed her bold ambition, saying, “Last year, I didn’t know how to overcome it, but now that a year has passed, I feel like I know a little bit about how to overcome it.” 스포츠토토

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