Photo credit: Tang Shi
Japan: 6 medals
Japan tripled their medals from the Asian Games in 2014 where they got only two medals. In 2010 they got only one medal so things are going the right way for Japanese badminton this year. Japan is ranked 5th in the medal table just behind Malaysia and just in front of Thailand. This year they share the second place of the medal table with China (6 medals each) but China has more medal points than the Japanese (13 vs. 9).
Japan’s women won the prestigious Uber Cup title in Bangkok in May and at the Asian Games they proved this was not just a coincidence. Once again the Japanese women were on top of the podium when the medals at the team event were handed out. They won all their ties 3-1 against other strong opponents; India in the quarterfinal, Indonesia in the semifinal and China in the final. They therefore finally got their revenge against China who they lost the Asian Games final to in 2006.
The men also returned from Jakarta with metal, but not the same carat as the women. The Japanese men’s team was up against a stronger team from Indonesia in the semifinal and had to accept a loss of 1-3. Kento Momota secured the only point for his country in a three game victory against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting that lasted 84 minutes.
Kenta Nishimoto secured the only Japanese medal in men’s single as he got bronze after losing to the later winner of the Asian Games, Jonatan Christie, in the semifinal. It was close though as the match finished 21-19 to the Indonesian in third game.
In women’s single it was the same scenario – Japan got one bronze medal. Akane Yamaguchi who was part of the match with fewest points during the Games (45 points in total) lost to India’s Pusarla V. Sindhu in the semifinal.
There was more metal for other Japanese women as they had two pairs in the women’s double semifinals. Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota who rank 1 in the world and who are runners-up from the World Championships in Nanjing couldn’t pass by Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan from China so they settled with bronze. And the Chinese were also the reason that Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi had to settle with silver. The reigning Olympic Champions lost the final with two times 20-22.
Gold: Women’s team,
Silver: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (WD)
Bronze: Men’s team, Kenta Nishimoto (MS), Akane Yamaguchi (WS), Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (WD)
Medal points: 9