Wuhan: Akane Yamaguchi became the first Japanese to win the women’s singles title at Badminton Asian Championships when she beat China’s He Bingjiao in the final in Wuhan, China on Sunday.
The world No.4 Japanese clearly outclassed the world No.7 Bingjiao as she won 21-19, 21-9 in just 42 minutes.
With the victory, Yamaguchi won her 11th career title and the second this year. The first title she won this year was the German Open.
Yamaguchi was beaten in the final of Badminton Asia Championship by the current world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying but went a step further this time around.
Despite being taken to the distance by Chen Yufei in the semi-final on Saturday, Yamaguchi did not look out of gas at all and put her best foot forward.
Ahead of the match, the head-to-head between Yamguchi and Bingjiao was titled hugely in favour of the Japanese and the tilt did not change won bit as Yamaguchi won the match once again.
Bingjiao did extremely well to stay close to Yamaguchi in the first game of the final with the players exchanging blows and playing each other around.
Both Yamaguchi and Bingjiao are attacking players but the Japanese has far better endurance levels and that showed in the match.
In the second game, Yamaguchi was all over Bingjiao and even though the Chinese tried hard to keep pace, every long rally was ending in favour of the Japanese.
Eventually, it was a fairly simple result as Yamaguchi made it into the record books.
After the match, Yamaguchi said, "Becoming the first Asian women's singles champion from Japan is not that important to me. Instead, I was proud to be on the top of the podium surrounded by three Chinese opponents."
CHINA WIN MIXED DOUBLES AND WOMEN’S DOUBLES TITLES
China reigned supreme at their home ground as both the mixed doubles and women’s doubles title went to the home nation.
Mixed doubles was an all-Chinese affair where Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping beat He Jiting and Du Yue 21-11, 13-21, 23-21 in an hour.
Women’s doubles final between Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan and Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara was also a brilliant affair.
It took the Chinese pair of Chen and Jia an hour and nine minutes to beat the reigning world champions Matsumoto and Nagahara 19-21, 21-14, 21-19.
The match was full of adrenaline, some excellent badminton and controversy.
Chen Qingchen’s was called for service error a total of five times, including a crucial juncture when the scoreline in the decider read 18-18.
The Chinese pair protested the decision and even called on the tournament director along with their coach and against the tournament rules but to no avail.
From there, the Chen-Jia won all the three points to win the match and Chen’s roaring celebration spoke of how hard she had taken the service call.