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TOTAL BWF World Championships 2018: Kento Momota is world champ! Team Yonex wins three golds!

Date
06 August 2018

Nanjing, China ­— Team Yonex absolutely shone at this year’s TOTAL BWF World Championships, where they took home gold in 3 of 5 categories and fielded 6 of 10 finalists.

After breezing past Daren Liew of Malaysia in the semi-finals (21-16, 21-5), Kento Momota faced World No. 3 Shi Yuqi of China in the final match, where he calmly stuck to his game and controlled the match, keeping his opponent guessing and prevailing comfortably 21-11, 21-13 in 49 minutes. Momota becomes the first Japanese player to win a men’s singles title at the World Championships, adding another highlight in his dramatic comeback story.

Earlier in the day, Carolina Marin (ESP) also made history as she became the first player to win three women’s singles World Championships. Marin is also experiencing something of a return to form, and she looked powerful and driven throughout the tournament. In the semis, where she dropped the first game to China’s He Bingjiao, she gathered herself and rallied to win 13-21, 21-16, 21-13, and booked her spot to the finals. There, in a rematch of the Rio Olympic Games final, she faced fellow #TeamYonex athlete, Pusarla V. Sindhu, who was fresh off an upset of World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi. Though Sindhu first jumped out to a 14-9 lead, again Marin rallied herself, and Sindhu just didn’t seem to have answers for Marin’s sheer force of will. After 46 minutes, Marin had recaptured her World Championships title, 21-19, 21-10.

The most dramatic match of the day however, was undoubtedly the women’s doubles final. Emerging from an all-Team-Yonex semi-finals, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota had proven unstoppable throughout the tournament, playing nearly error-free badminton. But they met their equals in the young pair of Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara, who were playing in their first World Championships. Both sides refused to budge and rallies were frequently 30 or even 40-plus shots long. After Hirota and Fukushima took the first game, 21-19, Matsumoto and Nagahara answered with an identical 21-19 win of the second game. It was a remarkable battle of wills, and even after being down 18-13 in the final game, Matsumoto and Nagahara slowly chipped away at their opponents’ lead. They eventually overcame two match points to claim victory at 22-20 in the final game and both sides collapsed in tears, one in joy, one in despair and disbelief.

Kento MomotaASTROX 99AEROBITEPOWER CUSHION 65 Z MEN
Carolina Marin: DUORA Z-STRIKE, AEROBITE, AERUS 3
Mayu Matsumoto: DUORA 10, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION 65 Z LADIES
Wakana Nagahara: ASTROX 88 S, BG65 TITANIUM, POWER CUSHION 65 Z LADIES

 For full match details, go here.