Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara: A Dynamic Japanese Duo

Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara with the Singapore Open trophy

It’s been an incredible journey for Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara. The Japanese duo has achieved great success since their victory at the TOTAL BWF World Championships in 2018, culminating in their recent ascent to the world No.1 ranking. What sets them apart? Let’s take a closer look at their partnership and what makes them so successful.

Different Personalities, Perfect Match

Nagahara believes that their success stems from their complementary personalities. While she admits to being a bit impatient, Matsumoto’s relaxed approach balances their dynamic. They cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, creating a harmonious playing style that brings out their best. This synergy is a key factor in their achievements on the court.

Celebrating their win at the World Championships 2018

From Promising Prospects to Global Contenders

Matsumoto and Nagahara are integral parts of Japan’s formidable badminton squad. They will be representing their country in the upcoming Sudirman Cup and will later defend their title in Basel. The duo’s performance in Nanjing, where they secured their World Championships victory, was a turning point in their career. Although they had never defeated their opponents before, they remained determined and fought until the end, ultimately clinching the win. This triumph marked the beginning of their rise in the badminton world.

Communication is Key

Matsumoto attributes their success in Nanjing to effective communication. They approached the tournament as challengers, unburdened by the pressure of being the favorites. Their focus was on playing their own style and maintaining strong communication on the court. This approach proved pivotal, as they emerged victorious and continued their upward trajectory.

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With the 'Most Improved Player of the Year' award at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals Gala Dinner in Guangzhou in December 2018

A Dream of Olympic Success

As they look toward Tokyo 2020, Matsumoto and Nagahara are fueled by their childhood dreams of competing in the Olympics. With the Games being held on home soil, their motivation is at an all-time high. However, they face fierce competition from fellow Japanese pairs vying for the limited slots available. The road to securing their place in Tokyo will require consistent excellence and unwavering determination.


  1. What are some of Matsumoto and Nagahara’s notable achievements?

    • Their victory at the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2018.
    • Winning the Singapore Open.
    • Being runners-up twice in China.
  2. How do Matsumoto and Nagahara complement each other on the court?

    • Their different personalities balance each other out, covering each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  3. What is their approach to competitions?

    • They view themselves as challengers, focusing on playing their own style and maintaining strong communication.


Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara have emerged as one of the most dynamic pairs in the world of badminton. Their unique partnership, effective communication, and unwavering determination have propelled them to the top of the rankings. As they continue their journey towards Tokyo 2020, fans around the world eagerly await their next triumph on badminton’s grandest stage.

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