China dominate Sudirman Cup again

Nanning, China, May 26, 2019: China has won an 11th World Mixed Team Championships dashing the hopes of an elusive Japanese victory with an impressive 3-0 performance at the Guangxi Sports Centre Gymnasium on Sunday (China dominate Sudirman Cup).

The hosts dominated the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 final in somewhat surprising fashion with Japan unable to silence the crowd as the first three Chinese representatives played inspired badminton to continue China’s stranglehold on the title.

Only five times in 16 editions of the tournament have they not hoisted the trophy.

Playing in their 13th consecutive final, the home nation took the first match in emphatic fashion with men’s doubles world champions Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen proving too good for Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe 21-18 21-10 in 54 minutes.

If ever a doubles match dominated by one player this one as Liu Yuchen raised his game to the next level and produced an unstoppable display of dynamic attack with impeccable defence.

China dominate Sudirman Cup, Liu said afterwards: “We played in four of the five ties this week and remained undefeated.

“This is for sure an assurance for us. We had to overcome different difficulties in our matches. This has definitely improved our ability to adapt in big match situations.”

Yufei then made it 2-0 for China with an epic 17-21 21-16 21-17 victory over Akane Yamaguchi in one of the matches of the week.

It was a seesawing battle across 81 minutes with both players holding the ascendency at different stages of the match and then relinquishing it under pressure.

It seemed as if fatigue had set in for Chen in the third as she went down 11-6. But she returned from the mid-game break with renewed vigour to win six straight points and nine of the next 11 to go up 15-13.

Yamaguchi continued to fight but with the home crowd on her side Chen pulled away to record a famous victory.

“I felt I played a bit slow in the beginning of the third game which caused me to waste a lot of energy.

I couldn’t keep up with her but at the break I changed my game strategy and I took the lead,” said an exhausted Chen on her decisive move.

A disappointed Yamaguchi added: “I made a lot of errors on serve but I also forced into a lot of mistakes by my opponent.”

Before today, world No. 1 Kento Momota had never beaten across 17 Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup matches.

And with everything to play for, it looked like Momota could save the day for Japan after a convincing 21-15 win in the opener.

But that record ended in authority as Shi Yuqi found form beyond anything else witnessed this week as he sealed the tie 15-21 21-5 21-11 in 69 minutes for just his second win in six matches against Momota.

In an effort up there with Liu earlier, Yuqi increased the speed of his play and won 11 successive points in the third game to deflate any hopes of a Japanese revival.

The final played in front of 4,618 spectators.

In an earlier announcement, the Chinese city of Suzhou, some 90 minutes west of Shanghai, named as host of the 2021 edition of the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup. —- BWF / Image Credit: Badminton Photo
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