BADMINTON Preview: Resurgent Japan looks for most wins ever in Japan Open in Tokyo

Defending Japan Open champ Kento Momota of Japan (Photo: BWF)

The Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open is one of the prestige tournament on the Badminton World Tour and the home team will have plenty of backing at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo for this week’s event.

The question is whether they can follow up on last year’s breakthrough and set a new standard in their own BWF tournament.

In fact, Japan has had few champions in this event for most of its history. Founded in 1977, the home team had an occasional winner, but finally got two victories in the same season only in 2018, with Kento Momota in the men’s Singles and Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in the women’s Doubles.

For 2019, four of the five defending champions return and Momota is again the top seed. The top three seeds in the women’s Doubles are all Japanese and they have contenders in each of the other events. The top seeds:

1. Kento Momota (JPN) ~ Defending Japan Open Champion
2. Tien Chen Chou (TPE)
3. Long Chen (CHN) ~ 2011 Champion

1. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) ~ 2017-18 Champions
2. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (JPN)
3. Junhui Li/Yuchen Liu (CHN) ~ 2016 Champions

1. Tzu-Ying Tai (TPE) ~ 2012 Champion
2. Yufei Chen (CHN)
3. Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) ~ 2015 Champion

1. Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (JPN)
2. Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN) ~ 2018 Champions
3. Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) ~ 2014-17 Champions

Mixed Doubles:
1. Siwei Zheng/Yaqiong Huang (CHN) ~ 2016/18 Champions
2. Yilyu Wang/Dongping Huang (CHN) ~ 2017 Champions
3. Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPN)

This is a $750,000 prize money tournament, with $52,500-25,500-10,500 for the top three places in Singles and $55,500-26,250-10,500 for the top three in Doubles.

Look for results here.