Chris and Gabby Adcock made British badminton history on Sunday by becoming the first pair to win the World Superseries finals.
Playing in Dubai, the husband and wife combo, who live in MK, overcame third seeds Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na, of South Korea, 21-14, 21-17 in 37 minutes after a dominant display at the Hamdan Sports Complex.
Their win in the United Arab Emirates – they also collected $84,000 after sharing the $1 million prize money on offer – was only the second Superseries title of their career after landing the Hong Kong Open in 2013.
The Commonwealth champions opened up a 12-6 lead in the first and they made sure of the game as they forged open another crucial six-point advantage at 18-12 up.
In the second, they again carved open a 12-8 lead before the Koreans, who were recent title winners at the Danish and French Opens, rallied to 15-all thanks to a stunning crosscourt winner from Kim. But two successive winners from Chris – one smash winner from the serve and an attacking net winner – handed the initiative back to the English.
With three match points, they kept the Koreans on the back foot before Chris secured the title and a first win in four meetings against their Asian opponents with a winner into open space.
Their win sees them become the first British players to win a title at the end-of-year finals, though making history at the front of their minds while playing in the final.
“It’s not something we aimed for but there has been some fantastic British players in the past,” said Chris afterwards. To be the only ones to do it is great.
“But to stand here with these gold medals around our necks is an amazing feeling.
“It’s what we put in all the hours for, it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“The Koreans have been superb all year. We really wanted to try and put right what we didn’t do against them in the past so to come through with the win is amazing.”
Victory in the season-ending Finals in Dubai, which featured the top eight players in the world, will be a major confidence boost for the Adcocks ahead of a key year.
Gabby said: “We’re concentrating on (the Olympics) Rio next year.
“Every athlete dreams of being in the Olympic games and getting a medal.
“But there’s a lot of tournaments between now and then, and we will be working hard.
“We’re both really excited about getting started.”