The South Korean badminton team has returned home with its best-ever finish at the World Individual Championships ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games.The team, led by head coach Kim Hak-gyun, returned home to Incheon International Airport on Monday after competing at the 2023 World Individual Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.Korean badminton achieved its best ever performance at the 27-day event.Ahn Se-young (Samsung Life) won gold in the women’s singles, Seo Seung-jae and Kang Min-hyuk (both Samsung Life) in the men’s doubles, Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung (Incheon International Airport) in the mixed doubles, and Kim So-young (Incheon International Airport) and Gong Hee-yong (Jeonbuk Bank) in the women’s doubles.This is the first time in the 46-year history of the World Championships, which began in 1977, that a Korean player has dominated the singles event.With seven wins and three runner-up finishes at various international tournaments this year alone, Ahn’s world No. 1 ranking is well on its way to becoming a Korean badminton “legend”.”I’m very happy that I was able to play well with the confidence of a world No. 1 and get a good result,” said Ahn, who was greeted with a smile and applause from badminton officials. “My goal for the Asian Games is definitely a gold medal. I think the process is just as important, so it will be difficult, but I will try to overcome it.”Seo Seung-jae won both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles, becoming only the third South Korean to win multiple titles in a single event after Park Joo-bong (1985 men’s doubles and mixed doubles, 1991 men’s doubles and mixed doubles) and Kim Dong-moon (1999 men’s doubles and mixed doubles).Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong stood on the podium for the third consecutive year after finishing third in 2021 and runner-up last year.This is the first time South Korea has won three events at the five-event competition, and the four podium finishes are a tournament record.With the Hangzhou Asian Games just over a month away, the team’s success at the World Championships signals a resurgence of the sport as an Asian Games patriarch.Korean badminton has been preparing for the Hangzhou Games with a sense of urgency after suffering its first Asian Games ‘no-medal’ in 40 years at Jakarta-Palembang 2018.Not only are they looking to redeem themselves from five years ago, but they are also hoping to break the Asian Games record for most gold medals (four) set at the 1994 Hiroshima and 2002 Busan Games.With the sport being dominated by Asian nations, including South Korea, China, and Japan, the outcome of the Asian Games will be crucial in preparing for next year’s Paris Olympics.”The athletes have always tried to go above and beyond what was expected of them during the preparation process, which is why we have achieved good results at this tournament,” said Kim Hak-gyun, the team’s head coach. “We are currently aiming for at least two gold medals at the Asian Games, and we will try to win more if we get the chance.”With their spirits high, the athletes will return to the National Training Center in Jincheon to continue their preparations before wrapping up their Asian Games preparations with the China Open Championships early next 토토사이트 month.