Kento Momota and Shi Yuqi to clash in Badminton Asia Championships final

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Kento Momota to play Shi Yuqi in the Badminton Asia Championships final. (photo: Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Kento Momota to play Shi Yuqi in the Badminton Asia Championships final. (photo: Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Wuhan: The traditional badminton powerhouse China and the rising badminton powerhouse Japan have shuttlers playing in four out of five finals at the 2019 Asian Badminton Championships that will take place in Wuhan Sports Center on Sunday.

The World No. 1 and No. 2 men’s singles players – Kento Momota of Japan and Shi Yuqi of China will battle it out in Sunday’s final when both will face each other for the fifth time in their career.

Momota faced a resilient Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam when the 36-year-old Vietnamese fought hard before going down 18-21 to Momota in the first set in the semi-final.

However, Nguyen suffered a devastating collapse against Momota in the second set as he went down 8-21.

“It would have been 19-18 for me in the first game and I am quite sure I would have won if not for a broken string in Momota’s racquet catching me off-guard and the shuttle fell in my court,” said Nguyen.

Meanwhile, Shi Yuqi staged a remarkable comeback in the first set against Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan, as Shi rallied from 4-12, 9-16 down to claim the first game 22-20. Shi was in complete control to eventually win the second set 21-18.

The men’s doubles semi-final match between No. 5 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan and unseeded Kang Min Hyuk/Kim Won Ho of Korea was the most breathtaking and memorable performance on Saturday as both pairs dug deep to take the fight down to the wire, when Endo/Watanabe ultimately edged past Kang/Kim 17-21, 22-20, 25-27 in 83 minutes.

Endo/Watanabe will meet No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the final.

There was an upset in the women’s singles semi-final, with the tireless No. 3 seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan wearing down the No. 1 seed home player – Chen Yufei 15-21, 21-16, 21-17 in 60 minutes. Yamaguchi will face No. 5 seed from China, He Bingjiao, who outlasted her compatriot, Cai Yanyan with 8-21, 21-12, 21-17 victory in 49 minutes.

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