Yamaguchi makes it two-for-two in Japan

Yamaguchi Akane, Back to back BWF World Championships

Yamaguchi Akane has been lucky with the number two. Aside from winning the BWF World Championships in back-to-back years, she also made a clean sweep of tournaments held in Japan in this year’s BWF season.

The top-ranked women’s singles player repeated against TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 semis opponent An Se-young of South Korea, 21-9, 21-15, to grab her second Japan Open first place medal.

Yamaguchi first won in 2019. This was the last year the tournament was held before it was canceled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The matchups from the penultimate round of last month’s World Championships were actually switched. Yamaguchi bested Chen Yufei of China, 15-21, 21-16, 24-22.

An, meanwhile, defeated “doctor” Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei, 21-12, 14-21, 21-13. Tai earned her PhD degree at University of Taipei recently.

In other events, three crowned champions made up for their respective early exits at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022.

Nishimoto Kenta of Japan, who was eliminated on the third round by men’s singles finalist Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand, stopped Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei in three tightly contested games, 21-19, 21-23, 21-17.

Jeong Na-eun and Kim Hye-jeong, who were barricaded also on the third round by fellow Korean pair Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong, held off unseeded Baek Ha-na and Lee Yu-rim of South Korea, 23-21, 28-26.

Finally, dethroned mixed doubles World Champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai did not return home to Thailand empty handed. They won against Watanabe Yuta and Higashino Arisa in the final match, 16-21, 23-21, 21-18.

The next Grade 2 tournament will be the Vietnam Open later this month.

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.