Basel, Switzerland – Today’s quarter-final round at the TOTAL BWF World Championships has set up some epic matchups for tomorrow’s semi-finals. In men’s singles, in which all eight athletes in the quarter-finals represent eight different nations, a first for the World Championships, Kento Momota (JPN) was the first to book his spot in the semi-finals – and continue his quest to defend his title – with a breezy 21-12, 21-8 win over Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia. Momota will next face Sai Praneeth B. (IND), who won a thriller against Indonesia’s 4th-seeded Jonatan Christie, 24-22, 21-14. Kantaphon Wangcharoen (THA) also advances, after winning a rubber band match against Chou Tien Chen (TPE) 21-16, 11-21, 21-14.
In women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon (THA) faced the up-and-coming Yeo Jia Man, who had earlier toppled World No. 1, Akane Yamaguchi. But Intanon proved too solid and experienced for the young Singaporean, cruising through 21-17, 21-11, as she continues her quest to repeat her World Championship from six years ago. She will face Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) tomorrow.
Takura Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan stunned compatriots Keigo Sonoda and Takeshi Kamura in men’s doubles. The World No. 13th-ranked pair upset Japan’s top men’s doubles coupling over a spirited three-game, one hour match, 21-16, 18-21, 21-15. Indonesian pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto made short work of Choi Solgyu and Seo Sung Jae (KOR), 21-13, 21-17, to book a date with fellow Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiwan in the semis.
In women’s doubles, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota (JPN) were forced to work for their semi-final placement by Korean pair Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan. After sailing through the first game 21-11, the Koreans forced a decider by answering back with the exact same score in the second, and putting up a strong effort but eventually succumbing 21-18 in the third after one hour and twenty-four minutes. Reigning World Champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (JPN) will also advance to the semi-finals, though their match did not end in a way anyone would have hoped. They were leading countrywomen Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto at a tight lead of 22-20, 3-3, when Yonemoto, reaching for the shuttle, crumpled to the court as a result of an apparent achilles injury, forcing them to retire.
In mixed doubles, Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino (JPN) dropped the opening game to Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying (MAS) but found their footing from there, and soon marched to an 18-21, 21-12, 21-11 victory. They will meet top seeds Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong in the semi-finals. Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai shrugged off any challenge from Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek of the Netherlands to solidify their spot in the semis, winning 21-11, 21-7, in just thirty-one minutes.
Kento Momota: ASTROX 99, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Sai Praneeth B.: VOLTRIC 8 E-TUNE, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Kantaphon Wangcharoen: ASTROX 88 S, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Ratchanok Intanon: NANOFLARE 700, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Takuro Hoki: DUORA 10 LT, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Yugo Kobayashi: DUORA Z-STRIKE, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Yuki Fukushima: ASTROX 88 D, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Fajar Alfian: ASTROX 88 D, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Muhammad Rian Ardianto: NANOFLARE 800, BG65, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Sayaka Hirota: ASTROX 88 S, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Mayu Matsumoto: DUORA 10, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z WIDE MID
Wakana Nagahara: ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Yuta Watanabe: DUORA Z-STRIKE, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Arisa Higashino: NANOFLARE 700, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Dechapol Puavaranukroh: ASTROX 88 S, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION 65 Z 2
Sapsiree Taerattanachai: ARCSABER 11, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION ECLIPSION Z 2