Wednesday, 22 May 2024

NEWS

Tokyo Olympic Medallists Fall Before Semi-Finals, Japanese Pair Advances

The All England Open Badminton Championships has seen a surprising turn of events as all three pairs of Tokyo Olympic medallists have been eliminated before the semi-finals, with Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida being the only seeded pair still standing in the final four.

On the opening day of the tournament, Olympic silver medallists Chen Qingchen and Jia Yi Fan made an early exit, followed by gold medallists Apriyani Rahayu and Greysia Polii due to the latter’s leg injury. However, the biggest surprise came from China’s Liu Xuan Xuan and Xia Yu Ting, who have reached the semi-finals in only their second tournament together, despite their nominal world ranking being 276.

Liu and Xia showcased their potential by defeating Thai eighth seeds Jongkolphan Kitithakarakul and Rawinda Prajonjai in a thrilling match that ended with a score of 19-21, 21-18, 21-16. They were expected to face second seeds Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan in the semi-finals, but unexpected results have characterized this year’s All England tournament.

The South Korean duo was stunned by India’s world No.46s Gayatri Pullela and Treesa Jolly, who won with a score of 14-21, 22-20, 21-15. Pullela expressed her surprise at reaching the semi-finals, stating that they just gave their best in each match. It is worth noting that Pullela’s father, Gopichand, was the last Indian player to win the All England tournament in the men’s singles category back in 2001.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF World Tour

In another unexpected turn of events, unseeded pair Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong emerged victorious in the battle of the unseeded quarter-finalists. With only two tournaments played in 2021, both in November’s Bali swing, Jeong and Kim reached the final of the Indonesia Open and then appeared at last week’s German Open. They defeated Malaysia’s Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan in a gripping match that ended with a score of 15-21, 17-21, 21-9.

The only seeded pair that has managed to navigate through the competition unscathed is Matsuyama and Shida, who dominated the third seeds with a score of 21-10, 21-18.

On the other hand, the mixed doubles category has seen the favorites delivering consistent performances. Thai top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai have faced no challenges in their first three games and dispatched the French duo Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue in just 37 minutes. Reigning champions Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino also had a quick victory against their compatriots Kaneko and Matsutomo.

Olympic silver medallists Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong defeated the Malaysian seventh seeds with a score of 21-15, 21-15.

The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships will continue at Utilita Arena Birmingham from March 16th to March 20th, 2022. Don’t miss out on this exciting event and secure your tickets today.