Photo credit: Tang Shi
China and Japan have without a doubt had a very successful World Championship so far and today the success only got even bigger when they had to find the finalists of the men’s double category.
In the first men’s double semifinal it was Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda against Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin from Chinese Taipei. It was the 5th seeded against the 14th seeded and the fifth encounter between the two pairs. Chen and Wang won the first in 2015, and since then Kamura and Sonoda have won the next four.
Today the match started very even and it was a close battle up to 17-17. Here the Japanese got 4 consecutive points and closed the first game 21-17. Second game started just like the first; fairly close up to a 9-7 lead for the two Japanese. Then they turned on the turbo and took the next 7 points leaving Chen and Wang pretty much without a chance to come back. And it showed to be the end of the Chinese Taipei pair who lost second game 21-10.
Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda is one step further than last year in Glasgow where they got a bronze medal. Tomorrow they will fight for gold.
Chinese opponents in the final
Second semifinal was an all-Chinese battle between Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan on one side and the younger duo Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen on the other. The younger duo had a 4-1 head-to-head lead before today’s match and four of their previous encounters have been settled in three games.
Today was a different story though. There was never any nerve in the game or any doubt of who would win. The match was a much too one-sided affair for that and there was hardly any excitement at all. Li and Liu were ahead all the way from 2-2 in first game and 3-3 in second, so the clever reader has already guessed that they also won the match. With a result of 21-15 21-23 the young Chinese duo are in their first World Championship final as senior players – but they have tried it before as juniors when they won gold at the World Junior Championship back in 2013.
With these results China and Japan now have four players or pairs in three finals each and they even had the chance to be in the women’s single final as well as He Bingjiao and Akane Yamaguchi were in each their semifinal today.
You can see the results of all the semifinals here