Japan beats defending champions China 3-1 for Asian Games women’s team title

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Japan wins the 2018 Asian Games badminton women's team gold medal. (photo: EPA)
Japan wins the 2018 Asian Games badminton women's team gold medal. (photo: EPA)

Jakarta: The 2018 Uber Cup winner Japan overcame badminton powerhouse China 3-1 in the 2018 Asian Games badminton women’s team final to lift the country’s first women’s team gold in 48 years on Wednesday.

As usual, Japan’s World No. 2 women’s singles player Akane Yamaguchi continued another sub-par performance, losing to China’s Chen Yufei 21-15, 21-12 in the first match. Yamaguchi claimed she didn’t play her best when speaking to reporters after the match.

Japan’s World No. 7 women’s pair Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota then saw off former World No. 1 Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan 21-12, 21-17 to level the score at 1-1.

“Similar to yesterday’s semi-final, we played aggressively and kept our spirits up during the game,” said Fukushima.

The 2017 women’s singles World Champion Nozomi Okuhara demonstrated her desire to win, and she played with great effort and with great heart to topple He Bingjiao of China 21-16, 19-21, 21-15 to give Japan an overall 2-1 lead.

Rio Olympic champions Misaki Matsumoto/Ayaka Takahashi then sealed the deal for Japan as they beat China’s Huang Dongping/Zheng Yu 21-16, 21-11 in the second women’s doubles match. With the victory, Japan secured the gold medal, leaving China with the silver.

“I am really excited to win the Asian Games women’s team title against China,” said Takahashi.

The victory was also Japan’s first Asian Games badminton women’s team gold since 1970.

“Winning the Asian Games women’s team gold over China proved that we are the real world champions,” said Japan’s head coach Park Joo Bong.

Both Indonesia and Thailand teams shared the bronze medals after losing to Japan and China in the semi-finals respectively.

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