Another smashing show as China sweep Sudirman Cup title for 12th time


Shi Yuqi celebrates after beating Kento Momota in the final of the Sudirman Cup. - BADMINTON PHOTO

PETALING JAYA: China showed once again that they are the grand master of the game by lifting the Sudirman Cup for the 12th time with a 3-1 win over Japan in a rematch of 2019 final.

World No. 2 women's doubles pair Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan turned heroes when they delivered the winning point by beating scratch pair Mayu Matsumoto-Misaki Matsutomo 21-17, 21-16 in a 59-minute contest at the Energia Areena in Vantaa, Finland on Sunday.

It was a redemption of sorts for Qingchen-Yifan after missing out on the gold at the Tokyo Olympics when they lost to Indonesia's Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu in the final.

Japan could have given China a stiffer competition if they had their full-strength line-up but they were without world No. 1 pair Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota and Wakana Nagahara, who forms the world No. 3 partnership with Matsumoto.

China hit Japan where it hurt the most when world No. 10 Shi Yuqi rose to the occasion to stun world No. 1 Momota 21-13, 8-21, 21-12 in 61 minutes to steal the unlikely men's singles point.

Interestingly, Yuqi also emerged victorious the last time the two met in the the previous final in Nanning two years ago, sealing the winning point to help China outplay Japan 3-0.

China had earlier won the first point through He Jiting-Zhou Haodong who prevailed with 21-1, 14-21, 21-16 against Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi in a hard-fought 76-minute duel.

They only dropped one point through their Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Chen Yufei, who went down 19-21, 16-21 to Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles.

It was Japan’s fourth consecutive defeat to China having also lost in the 2015 final in Dongguan, China and 2017 semi-finals in Gold Coast, Australia.

The defeat also prevented Japan from becoming the only fourth nation to hoist the Sudirman Cup title.

Besides China, only Indonesia and South Korea have tasted success since the tournament's inception in 1989.

FINAL RESULTS

China bt Japan 3-1 (He Jiting-Zhou Haodong bt Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi 21-17, 14-21, 21-16; Chen Yufei lost to Akane Yamaguchi 19-21, 16-21; Shi Yuqi bt Kento Momota 21-13, 8-21, 21-12; Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan bt Mayu Matsumoto-Misaki Matsutomo 21-17, 21-16).
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badminton , sudirman cup , china , japan

   

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