Japan remains unstoppable at the YONEX All England

Akane Yamaguchi

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.

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