China beat Japan 3-2 to win Asia mixed team championships

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China celebrate after defeating Japan 3-2 in the 2019 Asia Mixed Team Championships. (photo: Badminton Asia)
China celebrate after defeating Japan 3-2 in the 2019 Asia Mixed Team Championships. (photo: Badminton Asia)

Hong Kong: China completed an improbable comeback over No. 1 seeds Japan to win the 2019 Asia mixed team championships on Sunday, also known as Tong Yun Kai Cup – named after the president of the Hong Kong badminton association.

Having advanced from the group stage unbeaten and then defeated hosts Hong Kong 3-0 in the semi-finals, China shown they have what it takes to topple the defending champions Japan prior to the 2019 Asia mixed team championships final.

He Jiting/Du Yue struck first blood in Sunday’s first match, breaking the 2017 All England mixed doubles champions Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-17, 21-17 to score the first point for China. This was also He/Du’s first career victory against the World No. 3 mixed doubles pair in their third meeting.

Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan then leveled the tie as he grabbed the men’s singles match 21-18, 21-7 against Lu Guangzu of China in 40 minutes.

Japan’s World No. 28 men’s doubles pair Yugo Kobayashi/Takuro Hoki gave Japan a 2-1 lead by overcoming World No. 9 Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong 16-21, 21-18, 21-13 in 59 minutes.

However, Sayaka Takahashi had relinquished a first-set win by falling to Han Yue in the women’s singles match 17-21, 21-19, 21-17 in a 71-minute battle, allowing China to push the final down to the wire.

Women’s doubles World No. 10 Li Yinhui/Du Yue carried the weight of China on their shoulders after beating World No. 11 Ayako Sakuramoto/Yukiko Takahata in the decisive fifth match to proper China to their first Asia Mixed Team Championships title.

The Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships was started in 2017 where Japan became the winners of the 2017 edition.

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