This was Korea’s year at the BWF World Championships as they came away with three titles for the first time.
Chae Yu Jung, who with Seo Seung Jae became the first Koreans in two decades to win the mixed doubles world title, says their success was due to their attitude of working hard without making a fuss about it.
“If you keep working hard, it will eventually produce rewards,” said Chae. “You might not get good results in the beginning, but success is bound to come if you keep working hard and preparing silently.”
The Koreans had a standout season, finishing as the third-highest pair in the HSBC Race to Finals with exactly 100,000 points, behind Feng Yan Zhe/Huang Dong Ping and Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong. They will be one of the favourites for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2023.
Starting with quarterfinals in Malaysia and India, they made the finals of the PRINCESS SIRIVANNAVARI Thailand Masters and the YONEX All England, before a slight dip in fortunes. After a semifinal in Australia, everything changed with the world title, as they followed up by winning VICTOR China Open. The form held for the rest of the season, with a semifinal in Denmark, victory at the Korea Masters, and a runner-up finish at the LI-NING China Masters.
Their stellar season was recognised by two nominations at the Player of the Year awards. While Seo/Chae were nominated for the ‘Pair of the Year’, Seo himself won a nomination for ‘Male Player of the Year’.
As one of the few male players to play two categories, and having become the first male player in 24 years to win a double at the World Championships, Seo could look back triumphantly, but insisted on not letting success get to his head.
“I’m honoured to be nominated for Male Player of the Year,” said Seo. “It’s not credit to me alone. It’s because of the people who support us, the team that nurtures us, that I was able to be nominated. I will not get carried away, but keep fighting as a hard-working athlete.”