Alor Setar: Japan completed a sweep of the 2018 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) women’s team event by winning Sunday’s final against defending champions China 3-0.
Japan’s number one women’s singles player Akane Yamaguchi opened brilliantly, beating Chen Yufei in rubber set 21-16, 12-21, 21-14 to give her country a 1-0 win over China in the first women’s singles event at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium, Alor Setar, Malaysia on Sunday.
Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, the Rio Olympic women’s doubles gold medalists from Japan, produced some superb badminton to down Du Yue/Li Yinhui 21-13, 21-16 in 42 minutes.
“It was a good game, we played with no pressure and followed our game plan. Overall, we are happy to deliver the second point for our team,” said Matsutomo.
“This is a good learning experience for all of us as we are preparing for the Uber Cup this May,” added Matsutomo.
The reigning women’s singles world champion, Nozomi Okuhara, was almost as good as it got for the Japanese team, coming back from a set down to see off He Bingjiao 19-21, 21-16, 21-10 to lift the BATC women’s team title for Japan.
After the tie, the Japanese head coach Park Joo-bong told reporters he was proud of his team’s performance and it was a truly achievement.
“The tie was much tougher than expected, but it was a good test for our players and they really played well today. We can only expect a tougher challenge in Bangkok because China didn’t send their top players to BATC,” said Park.
“Our team is ready for the Uber Cup in May, and I am glad all our injured players are close to complete recovery,” added Park.