Tokyo: Japan’s men’s doubles World No. 5 Hiroyuki Endo and World No. 6 Keigo Sonoda/Takeshi Kamura have decided to resign from the Japanese national badminton team.
Hiroyuki Endo (age 34) partnered with Yuta Watanabe (age 24) while Keigo Sonoda (age 31) together with Takeshi Kamura (age 31) were able to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before losing to their respective opponents.
Endo/Watanabe lost to the eventual gold medalists – Lee Yang/Wang Chi-lin of Chinese Taipei 16-21, 19-21 and Sonoda/Kamura went down to World No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-14, 16-21, 9-21.
Endo who won two consecutive All England Championships (2020, 2021) with Watanabe, will become a coach for his badminton club – Nihon Unisys after the retirement. Meanwhile, Sonoda/Kamura who won the silver medal at the 2018 World Championships, have yet to announce their future plans.
The Japanese team will resume their training on September 13th, getting ready for the Sudirman Cup that will take place in Vantaa, Finland, from September 26 to October 3.
The absence of these top men’s doubles pair would undoubtedly have a huge negative impact on Japan’s chances at both the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup Finals.