Japan beat Indonesia in semis, to battle China in Asia Mixed Team Championships final

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Kanta Tsuneyama (L) beats Shesar Hiren Rhustavito to clinch victory for Japan at the Asia Mixed Team Championships semi-final. (photo: Badminton Asia)
Kanta Tsuneyama (L) beats Shesar Hiren Rhustavito to clinch victory for Japan at the Asia Mixed Team Championships semi-final. (photo: Badminton Asia)

Hong Kong: The Japanese team who won the 2017 Asia Mixed Team Championships by beating the South Korea team 3-0, will now have a chance to defend their title against China at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Japan started the men’s doubles match on Saturday with World No. 28 Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi while Indonesia have decided to sideline the World No. 8 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, instead, they played World No. 42 Frengky Wijaya Putra/Sabar Karyaman Gutama.

That decision proved to be a costly mistake for Indonesia as Putra/Gutama lost to Hoki/Kobayashi 11-21, 18-21 in just 32 minutes.

In the women’s singles, Sayaka Takahashi easily won against Ruselli Hartawan 21-15, 21-15 to extend Japan’s lead to 2-0.

Japan’s World No. 15 Kanta Tsuneyama was clearly too strong for World No. 47 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, as Tsuneyama rallied from a set down to beat the Indonesian 15-21, 21-17, 21-16 to clinch the tie for Japan in the best of five format.

In other semi-final, badminton powerhouse China also outscored Hong Kong 3-0 to advance to the final.

He Jiting/Du Yue gave China a perfect start by overcoming Tang Chun Man/Ng Tsz Yau 21-10, 20-22, 21-14 in the mixed doubles match.

In the second battle, Lu Guangzu put China one win away from victory when he eased past Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-18, 21-9 in 42 minutes.

World No. 9 men’s doubles pair Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong regained their composure in the second and third set to hand their resilient opponents Chang Tak Ching/Yeung Ming Nok of Hong Kong a 14-21, 21-18, 21-17 loss.

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