Final: KOREA beat CHINA 3-2
The might and potential of Korea's new men's doubles formation Seo Seung Jae / Choi Solgyu was neutralised by China's Zhang Nan and Fu Haifeng, 21-14, 21-15, in the latter's last international match before retirement.
Both sides had mid-court smash opportunities but it was Zhang Nan who was able to end rallies from that position. The Chinese defence of the Rio Olympic gold medallists was impenetrable. Being superior in all departments indicated early on the conclusion to come.
Sung Ji Hyun, making in her fifth appearance in women's singles for Korea, was far more at ease on court than China's He Bingjiao debuting in the final. Ji Hyun's textbook strokes contrasted with Bingjiao's lovely slice technique on shuttles. The Chinese struggled to find the foot speed to run down net shots and also constructed play with a pace too constant and lower than the other aggressive players the Korean met earlier in the week. Hence, Sung comfortably took the match 21-12, 21-16.
In men's singles, the reigning Olympic and World Champion Chen Long encountered last year's Australian SuperSeries runner-up Jeon Hyeok Jin.
Jeon participated in long patient rallies and was holding ground fine when defending early smashes but any shuttles less than three quarter court were dealt with swiftly by Chen Long. Chen's jump smash angle produced unbelievably inch perfection to the line winners. The world #41 Korean ran out of creativity in the second game when attempted tighter net shots that failed to go across, giving a second tie point to the defending champions China, 21-10, 21-10.
In women's doubles, there technically wasn't an upset when world #3 All England champions Chang Ye Na / Lee So Hee beat world #4 Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan, 21-19, 21-13. But it was in terms of psychological advantage and pride because the Koreans exacted revenge for six consecutive losses to this Chinese pair in 2016. The familiarity among the ladies was apparent with the Koreans wary of Jia's lethal left handed smash and Chen anticipating Chang movements at the net area.
Mixed doubles, already exciting for being the tie decider, got off to a blistering start when Korea's Chae Yoo Jung / Choi Solgyu instigated thick and fast drive shot battles. Choi's solid limbs were built for this particular style. No strangers to playing opponents who start on a high, Huang Yaqiong / Lu Kai drew level at in the first game after the interval. The Koreans remained relentless with Choi noticing Lu's racquet position made a smart choice on game point to hit a drive at head level instead of down. Next was an easy put away and one game up, 21-17.
Both sides were in great form and any errors were largely forced ones. 13-8 in the second game was the best rally of the match: Huang was tested in her defence by Chae and Choi in tandem. In the midst of the onslaught, Lu amazingly picked up an almost sure net shot but, even luckier for Korea, the rally ended when Choi's smash hit the net cord and rolled over.
Up 15-10 in the second plus one game under his belt gave Choi Solgyu the adrenelin for milisecond faster reactions than the Chinese. Sensing the unbelievable at 19-12, the Korean coaches held their heads in their hands.
Chae/Choi's 21-13 taking of the second game in mixed doubles gave Korea the tie and their fourth Sudirman Cup triumph 14 years after the previous occasion in the Netherlands. Korea are the 2017 Sudirman Cup champions at the Gold Coast.