After becoming the first South Korean badminton player to win the singles event at the World Individual Championships, Ahn Se-young (21-Samsung Life Insurance) said she had only just begun to realize her dreams as an athlete, and she was already looking ahead 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 won the women’s singles final of the World Championships on Sunday with a 2-0 (21-12 21-10) victory over Carolina Marin (Spain). It is the first World Championship singles title in Korean badminton history for both men and women.Ahn has been on a roll at international events this year, and last month she became the first South Korean player to be ranked No. 1 in women’s singles in 27 years, sweeping the subsequent World Championships to signal that her time has come.”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 thought I had to lead, not follow,” she said, 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 win the match, and in the semifinals, she overcame her “nemesis” Chen Yuefei (CHN).”Chen Yuefei is a player I used to find very tricky, but I think I was able to confidently play the way I wanted to play,” Ahn reflected.”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 from the bottom, 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 taking first place in one of them, the World Championships,” he said, adding, “I want to do it all once, the Asian Games, the Olympics, and the Asian Championships.”The Asian Games are just over a month away, and he’s eager to see how he performs.”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, and if you overcome it, it’s a proud achievement, so I’ll try to get through 스포츠토토링크 it.”

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