Japan cap great run by bagging men and women’s doubles titles

BUKIT JALIL: Shuttlers Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda became the first Japanese pair to win the men’s doubles title as Japan capped a great outing in the Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open by taking the women’s doubles title as well at the Axiata Arena.

Kamura-Sonoda made quick work of countrymen Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe winning in straight games at 21-8, 21-10 in a 30-minute one-sided final.

Kamura, who was delighted to end the elusive chase for a title in Malaysia after many botched attempts, said the standard of badminton in Japan has improved in recent years and he hopes it would continue to rise.

“Japanese badminton was not so strong before as one could see from the results in the World Tour but now, we are getting better and stronger. We see more Japanese players in the semis, finals and winning titles,” said Kamura.

“We hope this will continue in other tournaments. We’ll try our best to improve our skills and our performances.”

In the women’s doubles, Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi took the chance to bury their demons by winning the women’s doubles title for the first time after two failed attempts in the final.

They lost to Chinese pairs – Tian Qing-Bao Yixin in 2013 and Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua in 2014.

But yesterday, their third appearance in the final was definitely a charm as they took out China’s first seeds Chen Qinqchen-Jia Yifan in style with a straight game victory at 21-12, 21-12.

“To win in our third attempt after four years is really unexpected. And to do it against a Chinese pair just makes it even better,” said Takahashi

The Japanese pair had lost four out of their six meetings against Qingchen-Yifan with the last win dating back to Australian Open in June last year.

Zheng Siwei retained his Malaysian Open mixed doubles title when he and Huang Yaqiong powered their way to a 21-19, 21-16 victory over second seeds and teammates Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping in the final yesterday.

“We haven’t won any Open titles this year, so this is a big boost for us as we prepare for the World Championships (in August in Nanjing, China),” said Siwei.

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