Japan’s Yuma Yamazaki and Sarina Satomi ended the year on a high note and made up for their losses in their respective singles events to take the women’s doubles Wheelchair (WH1-WH2) gold medal.
It may have taken them close to an hour but it was well worth it as they beat their Chinese opponents, Liu Yutong and Yin Menglu, 14-21 25-23 21-15 in a match of wits, skills and plenty of emotions as the curtain came down on the HULIC DAIHATSU Japan Para Badminton International 2019.
“This is an important win for us which will lead us into the Paralympics in this same venue next year,” said Yamazaki.
“I’m happy but it took a combined strategy to get this because our usual rotation style alone would not have worked against the Chinese team who are very fast,” said Satomi.
The women’s Wheelchair (WH1) singles was won by Sujirat Pookkham of Thailand, after she defeated China’s Yin Menglu, 21-17 21-7.
“Yesterday, I felt some discomfort in my right arm which was injured some time ago and I thought it wouldn’t be good but I told myself to relax and just play my game.
“Yin has lost to me in all our meets and she’s still young. She may not yet have the confidence to feel like she can beat me,” said the 33-year-old Pookkham.
It was an all-China affair in the women’s WH2 singles with 15-year-old world champion Liu Yutong taking the gold 21-15 21-15 over Xu Tingting.
It is Now 4-3 to Kim
Korea’s Kim Jungjun and Hong Kong China’s Chan Ho Yuen went at it again in their usual finals match-up in men’s singles WH2, with Kim emerging the victor in Tokyo.
“This is our seventh battle and we always get to the finals. This year was 3-3 and now he’s one up because he played better,” said Chan.
“I’m a little frustrated because I took the lead until the interval and then lost points. The shuttle is fast and I am powerful so if I hit with my usual strength, it goes out.
“Comparatively, Kim has such precise shots and good control of the shuttle even when it is fast. I’ll just have to start training with faster shuttles, learn to control my shots and I’ll get him next time,” he added.
Kim’s celebrations were cut short as he and Lee Dong Seop of Korea lost the men’s doubles (WH1-WH2) to China’s Qu Zimo and Mai Jianpeng,
It was a near-exact repeat of the World Championships 2019 final, in which China aimed most of their attack to Lee.
“The WH1 player [Qu] is highly energetic. Very fast and we couldn’t keep up,” said Kim.
Qu also won his men’s singles against another Korean, Choi Jung Man, 21-10 21-16.
“At 14-16 when my opponent caught up, I think I was fortunate to be able to get the two points and take over and beat him,” said 18-year-old Qu, who remains undefeated in the men’s singles and doubles since he won both world titles in August this year.