There’s no doubt that China is the world’s no. 1 power in badminton and they demonstrated it with three wins at the BWF World Tour Finals in front of home fans in Guangzhou (CHN).
In the men’s division, Yuqi Shi defeated Japan’s Kento Momota – for the first time ever – in a re-match of the 2018 World Championships final, and the reigning World Champions, Junhui Li and Yuchen Liu defeated Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe.
China’s World Championsships silver medalists in Mixed Doubles, Yilyu Wang and Yaquiong Huang beat the titleholders – Siwei Zhang and Yaqiong Huang – in the finals for another reversal.
Perhaps the most emotional event was the women’s Singles final, where India’s V. Sindhu Pusarla – runner-up in four tournaments this season, including the World Championships – finally won, setting aisde Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) in straight sets.
“I’m really proud, the year has ended on a beautiful note. People have been asking me the same question, I think the question won’t come again – asking why I always lose in the final. Now I can say I won the gold and I’m proud of it. It was good that people were asking me about losing so many finals, because I had to ask myself why I was losing. Finally I got the answer.
“It’s a special tournament for me because I won all my group matches and the semifinals and the final. I have no words. She fought hard, and at times I remembered the last final. But I was able to focus again. Although I won in straight games, it was very tough and each point was hard.
“I got emotional because it’s my first gold in this tournament. I didn’t have anything in my mind. I was on my knees. I wanted this win very much.” Summaries:
BWF World Tour Finals
Guangzhou (CHN) ~ 12-16 December 2018
(Full results here)
Men’s Singles: 1. Yuqi Shi (CHN); 2. Kento Momota (JPN); 3. Sameer Verma (IND) and Wan Ho Son (KOR). Semis: Shi d. Vermeer, 12-21, 22-20, 21-17; Momota d. Son, 21-14, 21-12. Final: Shi d. Momota, 21-12, 21-11.
Men’s Doubles: 1. Junhui Li/Yuchen Liu (CHN); 2. Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (JPN); 3. Hung Ling Chen/Chi-Lin Wang (TPE) and Kim Astrup/Anders Rasmussen (DEN). Semis: Li/Liu d. Chen/Wang, 18-21, 21-12, 21-15; Endo/Watanabe d. Astrup/Rasmussen, 21-19, 21-13. Final: Li/Liu d. Endo/Watanabe, 21-15, 21-11.
Women’s Singles: 1. V. Sindhu Pusarla (IND); 2. Nozomi Okuhara (JPN); 3. Ratchanok Intanon (THA) and Akane Yamaguchi (JPN). Semis: Pusarla d. Intanon, 21-16, 25-23; Okuhara d. Yamaguchi, 21-17, 21-14. Final: Pusarla d. Okuhara, 21-19, 21-17.
Women’s Doubles: 1. Misaki Matsumoto/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN); 2. So Hee Lee/Seung Chan Shin (KOR); 3. Yue Du/Yinhui Li (CHN) and Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (JPN). Semis: Matsumoto/Takahashi d. Du/Li, 22-20, 11-3, withdrew; Lee/Shin d. Matsumoto/Nagahara, 21-13, 21-13. Final: Matsumoto/Takahashi d. Lee/Shin, 21-12, 22-20.
Mixed Doubles: 1. Yilyu Wang/Dongping Huang (CHN); 2. Siwei Zhang/Yaqiong Huang (CHN); 3. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapirsee Taerattanachai (THA) and Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino (JPN). Semis: Zhang/Huang d. Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai, 19-21, 21-14, 21-12; Wang/Huang d. 21-9, 19-21, 21-13. Final: Wang/Huang d. Zhang/Huang, 23-21, 16-21, 21-18.