BWF World Championships 2022: Road to the title – Yamaguchi Akane

The TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 concluded with surprise victories, dominating wins, and everything else in between. We now trace the path of each champion starting with home country hero Yamaguchi Akane.

The only repeat title winner from last year’s World Championships in Spain, Yamaguchi entered this year’s edition as the world number one in women’s singles.

She started her campaign against 24th-ranked Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia, who Yamaguchi has a winning record against. This showed in the 21-12, 21-15 conquest that lasted 34 minutes, the Japanese’s shortest match in this tournament.

Up next for Akane was compatriot Takahashi Sayaka, who the former has not lost to. Once again, it was a dominating romp, 21-18, 21-7.

Yamaguchi then went up against three-time World Champion Carolina Marín of Spain. The latter has a winning record in their head-to-head, 7-5. However, the shuttler from the host country prevailed, 21-17, 21-17, in 54 minutes.

In the semis, it was an Uber Cup Finals 2022 rematch as the right-hander from Katsuyama faced Korea’s An Se-young. Yamaguchi avenged her loss in the other Grade 1 Tournament with a more convincing result of 21-19, 21-12.

The final boss for Yamaguchi turned out to be fourth-ranked Chen Yufei of China. The 21-12, 10-21, 21-14 outcome became her fourth straight victory against her rival. Their hour-long struggle was the first time they played up to three games since the Sudirman Cup in 2019.

This is Yamaguchi’s third podium finish in the tourney, the first one a bronze medal performance in 2018. Back then, she succumbed to PV Sindhu. Unfortunately, India’s pride withdrew this year due to injury.

Author Details

JP is an all-around sportswriter who covered the Bingo Bonanza Philippine Gold Grand Prix 2009. Aside from BWF badminton he follows football, basketball, and pro wrestling.