Event Report: Held on Day 5(September 24th)
Demonstration of "Para-Badminton"
Badminton is included to be the official sport at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic first time; it is called "Para-Badminton". Kazumi Hirano, the president of Japan Para-Badminton Federation, is the key person of acceptance as official Paralympic sport. It has 5 categories same as Badminton, men's and women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. The differences between Para-Badminton and Badminton are "players are classified into 6 sports classes, wheel chair (WH1 and WH2)/ standing lower (SL3 and SL4), standing upper SU5 and short Stature SS, and players play on only the half court in some categories in para-badminton.
It was the first time to introduce Para-Badminton at Yonex Open Japan, and four featured Japanese Para-badminton players showsed us para-badminton demonstration in front of the spectators.
We can't wait to watch these exciting matches at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic.
Osamu Nagashima (the men's singles champion of Japan National Para-Badminton Championship 2016) and Mamoru Oe.
Akiko Sugino(the women's singles winner of Asia Paralympic 2010) and Ayako Suzuki
Mamiko Toyoda, belongs to Yonex and player of women's standing class, the Women's singles winner of Para-Badminton International 2015.
24th September, 2016
LEE Chong Wei (MAS) 2 (21-14-, 21-15) 0 Marc ZWIEBLER (GER)
LEE Chong Wei played against veteran Zwiebler from Germany at the semi-finals.
The number of the match between Lee & Zwiebler accumulated more than 20 times, and almost always Lee had overwhelming victories in the past.
Zwiebler got 14 points and 15 points in each game today, but the Malaysian always took the lead throughout the match.
In the first game Lee advanced by 11-7, 16-8 before finished by 21-14. Lee's placement of the shuttlecock to the corners was very steady and some tricky shots were also effective. In the second game Lee easily took the lead by 9-1 and 11-6 at the interval. Lee was so calm and composed that sometimes Zwiebler could find nothing to return. Before finishing the game, Lee made some unforced errors, but he did not have any trouble to take the victory.
After the game, Lee said as always the preparation of the match was very important, though today' opponent was relatively familiar for him and would do in the same manner for tomorrow. (s)
Jan O Jorgensen (DEN) 2 (21-14 , 21-19) 0 Son Wan Ho (KOR)
After Son accomplished the great victory against the bronze medallist, Viktor Axelsen yesterday, he competed with the Danish veteran player, Jan O Jorgensen, who would try to take a revenge of his teammate. The key of this match would be which player can perform their distinctive styles: the continuous attacks with the step-light footwork by Jorgensen, or the persistent returns to the corner of the opponent's court by Son.
To the interval of the first game 11-10 led by Jorgensen, the score was very close and taken by both players in turns one by one. The factor that broke a tie of the score in the second half of this game was that Jorgensen forcefully broke down Son's impregnable defense by hitting the heavy smashes one after another to both right and left sides of the Son's court. This Jorgensen's tactics produced five consecutive points in the end of the first game, causing more Son's errors with the shuttle going outside of the court. The first game closed by Jorgensen at 21-14.
Changing the playing style by accelerating his pace with more smashes, Son succeeded in leading the four points at the interval 11-7. However, Jorgensen gave the full throttle, and then reversed promptly the score to 20-16. Jorgensen pushed the shuttle to the ground and grabbed the last point that leads him to the final for tomorrow, although Son did not give Jorgensen the game so easily, by firmly returning the shuttle to Jorgensen and approaching the score 19-20.
"The today's opponent, Son had very fast footwork and returns persistently, compared to the previous opponents at the first and second stages. However, I successfully kept my pace and attacked very well today." Jorgensen said after the match. Also he commented about tomorrow's opponent "Lee Chong Wei is Lee Chong Wei. It must be a tough opponent."
Sun Yu(CHN) 2 (21-17,21-18) 0 Akane Yamaguchi(JPN)
Lot of spectators greatly paid attention to this much between Akane Yamaguchi, 156cm tall, and Sun Yu, 184cm tall. In today's match, Yamaguchi seemed to have difficulties to turn the table on her opponent and 28cm difference in height was the great disadvantage for Yamaguchi to beat the opponent today.
In the first game, although Yamaguchi succeeded to earn points with several deceptive shots, she always came behind Yu and the game was always Yu's for the talking. Yamguchi tried to chase shuttles patiently and earn points but Yu beat Yamaguchi 21-17. In the second game, Yamaguchi accelerated the speed and manage to earn several consecutive points and at 12-11, finally succeeded to turn the game around first time in this match. Yamaguchi patiently returned the steep smashes or drop shots of Yu and managed to come up with Yu, however because of her heights, Yu could catch Yamaguchi's low lifts or attacking clears which always forced Yamaguchi to play defensively. Yu overcame Yamaguchi 21-18.
In the interview after the match, Yamaguchi said ' Because Yu is so tall, it was difficult for me to play at my own pace. I tried to deliver shuttles high enough to go over Yu, however Yu was too high and I hit too many drop shots and net plays in the latter part of the game. I want to be stronger to play in various styles from now on.'
He Bingjiao (CHN) 2 (21-17, 22-20) 0 Aya Ohori (JPN)
Both players are left handed and seemed to be of equal skill & strength. They showed a good rallies during the half of the first game. At the interval Bingjiao took the lead of 11-7, before Ohori caught up by 13-13. However, Bingjiao from China continued the stable placement of the shuttlecock to the corners, while Hohori was not able to follow. The Chinese eventually took the first game by 21-17.
In beginning of the second game, Ohori seemed to get back her own pace and attacked Bingjiao with powerful straight smashes to the side lines. Ohori showed persistent play and earned points one by one. She got 5 consecutive points from 12 to 16, and reached to 19 -12 points. At that moment, lots of audiences expected to go to the final game. However, Bingjiao showed her mental toughness and caught up Ohori promptly. Bingiao earned 6 and 5 consecutive points and closed the game at 22-20.
After the game, Bingjiao said that she herself also expected the final game when she was much behind by 11-19. However, she did not give up as yesterday she faced the similar situation and was able to reverse to win. Such experience was more helpful to keep the passion, she added.
Kim Gi Jung & Ko Sung Hyun(KOR) 2 (17-21, 21-15, 21-18) 1
Takeshi Kamura & Keigo Sonoda(JPN)
Kim and Ko are an extemporaneously pair, and each of them usually teams up with other players. Kim is No. 2 with his main partner, and Ko stands at No. 5.
From beginning of first game, Kamura & Sonoda play against the Korea pair with their specialty, swift low drive shots parallel to the floor. As Korea pair looked back this match at the mix zone, they couldn't react Japan's tactics in this game. Korea pair tried to break the bad mood by deploying fierce smashes and drive shots, but these were not so strong that they couldn't be killer shots. Kamura & Sonada did not allowed Korea pair to turn down and won the first game at 21-17.
The tide turned against Japan pair in the second game. Kim & Ko must have considered to use the tactics against opponent's specialty and gained a control of this game. They reached to the interval at 11-7. Japan pair was pushed back by the opponent's powerful steep smashes by Ko and fore-court skillful shots by Kim. In the second game, Korea pair beat Japan pair perfectly by 21-15.
About the final game, "The wind in the arena was in our favor in first half of the game. So we should leave Korea pair way behind before the interval." Kamura & Sonoda pair quoted. After interval led by Japan at 11-10, Korea pair attacked fiercely and earned five consecutive points, and the score moved to 10-11, 15-11, 20-15. Japan pair played persistently and managed to escape from the match point three times, but finally, the match was closed by Ko and Kim pair's smashes at 21-18. Japan pair, Kamura & Sonoda's dream to become champion of Yonex Open Japan did not come true this time.
Li Junhui & Liu Yuchen (CHN)
2 (21-13, 18-21, 21-15) 1 Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (INA)
The winner of the 2013 BWF World Junior Championships held in Thailand, Li and Liu will give a daunting challenge against the Indonesian pair, Ahsan and Setiawan who won the title of the Yonex Open Japan 2013.
Pushed up by many enthusiastic fans with the big resonant sounds of a small drum and a whistle, the Indonesian pair would have wanted to start their performance in the center court. However, what surprised the audience from the very beginning of the first game was the steep smashes hit by the Chinese pairs from the point of the 195 and 193 cm height. Chinese pair made use of the different-height smashes, piercing to the front of the face or near the underfoot, with this game close at 21-13.
After the score was a tie at 13-13 in the second game, the Indonesian pair stepped ahead of the pack with fierce cross-smash by Setiawan at 16-15 and the unexpected flick service by Ahsan at 17-15, with drawing a large crowd. In the end, the second game was taken by Indonesia at 21-18.
The factor that decided the match was how consistently both pairs kept attacking with less errors. As moving faster and using their long-reach arms, the Chinese pair took more chances to earn the points near the net to the interval 11-4. Because both pairs have an advantage of the powerful smashes, they steadily scored the points little by little with holding their ground. However, the Chinese pair rushed a last attack with continuous smashes from 16-10 to 21-15, resulting in the chance to win the title of this tournament tomorrow.
“We had both pros and cons in the today’s match, but we kept patient with the returns. We boosted our confidence by winning against the powerful enemy today, so even tomorrow we are trying to be aggressive for attacking to challenge the strong Korean pair” Li and Liu said at the mixed zone. Ahsan and Setiawan made a short comment “We lost the match just because the opponent was wonderful today.”
Ayaka Takahashi &Misaki Matsutomo(JPN) 2 (21-14,21-19) 0 Shiho Tanaka & Kohoru Yonemoto(JPN)
YOJ semifinal was played between Japanese duos.
Tanakashi/Yonemoto, who swept Yaquing/Jinhua(THA) yesterday and gained their momentum , exploded their fierce attacking shots just after the first game started. Takahashi/Matsutomo, who had lost no game up to this stage in YOJ, had a hard fight until 7-7, however they gradually caught up their pace and by aggressively moving forward to make attacking shots from the forecourt. Takahashi/Matsutomo never let Tanaka/Yonemoto earn more than two consecutive points and closed the game at 21-14.
As the second game started, the game turned to be fierce rallies of iron defense and sharp attacking shots. Yonemoto, who also plays mixed doubles showed excellent receives and Tanaka, who has strong physical strength, hit steep cross smashes to take several aces. The second game became seesaw from the beginning till end but Takahashi/Matsutomo edged out Tanaka/Yonemoto 21-19.
Christinna Pedersen & Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN) 2 (21-23, 21-16, 21-17) 1 Luo Ying & Luo Yu (CHN)
Silver medalist pair at Rio Olympic from Denmark and BWF super series` final champion of last year from China confronted at semifinal.
In the first game, Chinese pair showed fluid foot works thanks to supplemental combination characteristic to twins and took the lead by 11-7. At the 11 points interval, Denmark pair showed chagrined face. After the interval, Denmark pair changed their play style and started to use steep smashes. While, Chinese pair started to use effective drop or cut shots around the net against of Denmark pair and got the first game at 23-21.
In the second game, Denmark pair seemed to get back their pace and attacked Chinese pair aggressively. Chinese pair showed great receive skills against opponent`s attack. Lots of audiences watched breath taking long rallies of them, and Denmark pair finally won the second game at 21- 16.
The fate of the final game, it turned out to the most exciting game. Both of the pairs showed aggressive attacks from the beginning of the game. Even in very long rallies, Denmark pair got points one by one, keeping their aggressive steep smashes to the side lines. Against Denmark, Chinses pair showed variety of shots and fought back boldly. The arena was full of cheers to Denmark pair. Juhl couldn`t cover her fatigue during the game, and she took an advantage of Chinese pair`s unguarded moment and shot sharp smashes. After the fierce battle, Denmark pair finally closed the game at 21-17.
After the game, Denmark pair said that they are very exhausted right now, but they will be ready for the tomorrow final round against Takahashi and Matsutomo pair.
ZHENG Siwei & CHEN Qingchen (CHN)
2 (21-11, 21-19) 0 LU Kai & HUANG Yaqiong (CHN)
One of the Semi-Finals of Mixed Doubles at YONEX Open Japan was the same match as the Final of Australian Open in June this year.
In the first game Zheng & Chen intended to repeat the quick drives and the net plays, they said after the game. Therefore, Huang was forced to move from the front to the rear court and Lu could rarely find the opportunities to hit strong smashes. At the interval Zheng & Chen took the lead by 11-5 and widen more to 13-5, 19-8 and finished easily by 21-11.
However, from the beginning of the second game, Huang showed her talent of quick touch near the net and Lu stroked steep smashes, while Zheng & Chen seemed not to be concentrated and repeated errors. Lu & Huang took advantage of 11-4. At that moment Zheng & Chen were almost ready to go to the final game, but decided to do their best patiently, they confessed at the interview later.
Thus, after the interval, Chen turned to be more cautious but also aggressive to hit the quick drives. And two consecutive net-in shots had given more the power to Zheng & Chen. They also thanked to the opponent's errors and promptly reversed by 16-15. Then, the score moved back and force from 16-16, 19-19, and finally the younger pair put down Lu & Huang to close by 21-19, i.e. they took revenge on their teammates.
Tomorrow, #35 ranked young pair, both 19 years old, will challenge KO Sung Hyun & KIM Ha Na, #1 ranked and top seeded pair. (s)
Ko Sung Hyun & Kim Ha Na(KOR)
2 (21-14, 21-18) 0 Peng Soon Chan & Liu Ying Goh(MAS)
BWF world ranking No.1 Ko & Kim pair competed against Silver medalist of Rio Olympics at semi-final. This is the 5th meeting, and both pairs won twice.
Through the match, Korea pair perfectly controlled it and led the score almost all situation.
In the first game, Malaysian male player, Chen tried to earn the point by his powerful smashes, but Korea pair insistently returned these shots, and that caused Malaysia pair made errors. In the meantime, Korea pair earned the point consistently by Ko’s steep and powerful smashes and wide covering, and Kim’s fore-court quick reaction and killer shots. Korea pair took this game at 21-14.
In the second game, Korea pair made unforced errors of Ko’s smashes and Kim’s net shots by themselves and gave the opponents leading the score a few times. However, in the end, Korea pair won the match with four consecutive points from 17-18 to 21-18.
“Today, we played well with my quick footwork and powerful smash. And also my partner, Kim reacted well in the fore-court. What we need to do is to play our own style.” Ko said after the match.