BIRMINGHAM, England – The YONEX All England finals were held on March 20 with a packed stadium full of passionate fans and determined finalists. For the second year in a row, Japan took the prestigious event by storm with three strong victories by women’s singles, Akane Yamaguchi (JPN), women’s doubles, Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (JPN) and mixed doubles, Arisa Higashino and Yuta Watanabe (JPN).
World no. 2, Akane Yamaguchi and world no. 4, An Se Young (KOR) kicked off the finals in the highly anticipated women’s singles match-up. Yamaguchi remained calm and steady throughout the match, affording her the focus to wrap it up in just two games. The final score: 21-15, 21-15.
In women’s doubles, Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida proved they are a force to be reckoned by making quick work of opponents Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu (CHN) in just two swift games 21-13, 21-9.
Mixed doubles pair, Arisa Higashino and Yuta Watanabe found their rhythm against Olympic Gold medalists, Huang Dong Ping and Wang Yi Lyu (CHN) in two nail-biting games. Higashino and Watanabe’s defense was unbreakable, and their creative attacking style won them a well-deserved victory. The final score: 21-19, 21-19.
Finishing off finals day was Olympic gold medalist, Viktor Axelsen (DEN) facing off against the promising, up-and-coming Lakshya Sen (IND). After Lakshya’s colossal win against Lee Zii Jia (MAS) in the semifinals, fans were excited to see how he would perform against top athlete Viktor Axelsen. After two energy filled games, Viktor claimed his second All England title and proved why he is world no.1. The final score: 21-10, 21-15.
- Akane Yamaguchi: ASTROX 100, EXBOLT 63, POWER CUSHION 65
- An Se Young: ASTROX 77, BG80, POWER CUSHION AERUS
- Nami Matsuyama: NANOFLARE 700, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION 65
- Chiharu Shida: NANOFLARE 800, ASTROX 77, POWER CUSHION 65
- Zhang Shu Xian: ASTROX 100, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65
- Zheng Yu: ASTROX 88 S, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65
- Arisa Higashino: NANOFLARE 700, EXBOLT 63, POWER CUSHION 65
- Huang Dong Ping: ASTROX 77, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65
- Wang Yi Lyu: ASTROX 88 D, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65
- Lakshya Sen: ASTROX 100, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65
- Viktor Axelsen: ASTROX 100, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65