Japan's delight after ruling men's and women's singles in Japan Open
Credit Image: Badminton Photo & Raphael Sachetat
Akane Yamaguchi is the new World No 1 in the women's singles after winning the singles title with a 21-13, 21-15 compatriot Nozomi Okuhara in the final in the USD750,000 Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open which ended on Sunday.
This is her second title in two weeks after winning the USD1.250,000 Blibli Indonesia Open in Jakarta- defeating India's P.V. Sindhu in the final. The back to back wins saw Yamaguchi replace Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei at the top while Tzu Ying dropped to a rung to No 2.
Momota, the top seed, and world champion showed his class with a 21-16, 21-13 win over Indonesia's Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in a 44-minute show of attacking badminton at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo.
Winning the men's and women's singles gave Japan double joy that made up for the heartbreak when their reigning women's doubles world champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara fell at the final hurdle to an unseeded Korean pair Kim So-Yeong-Kong Hee Yong.
The Koreans, who moved four rungs to be World No 4 in the latest BWF ranking list, attributed their success to a stable partnership with better communication which is bearing fruit as they demolished the Japanese hope with a 21-12, 21-12 win in 43 minutes.
The win came with a hefty prize-money of USD55,500. More importantly, the Korean victory ended the country's 15-year wait for the women's doubles which was last won by Lee Kyung-Won and Ra Kyung-Min in 2004.
Indonesia's World No 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo also clinched back-to-back titles when they won the men's doubles with a 21-18, 23-21 win over compatriots and All-England champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in 36 minutes. The winners pocketed USD55,500 in prize money while the losers took home USD26,250.
China's No 2 seeds Wang Yilyu-Dong Hongping walked away with the mixed doubles title after a tough match against Indonesia's No 7 seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti, prevailing 21-17, 21-16. For the Chinese, it was their fourth title and maintained their supremacy over the Indonesians, winning all their six encounters.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Kento Momata (JPN) beat Christie Jonatan (INA) 21-16, 21-12
Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) beat Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) 21-13, 21-15
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) beat Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (INA) 21-18, 23-21
Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee Yong (KOR) beat Maya Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (JPN) 21-12, 21-12
Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping(CHN) beat Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (INA) 21-17, 21-16