Photo credit: Tang Shi
In this rematch of the Asian Championships final from April this year, all statistics talked for an extremely exciting last final of this year’s World Championships. The two men’s double pairs are ranked 4 and 5 in the world and they have played extremely well on their way to the final.
And it was a final that started with full power and full speed from both pairs. China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (ranked 5, seeded 4) were facing Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda (ranked 4, seeded 5) in the second clash between the two countries today and the eighth encounter between the two pairs. Li and Liu were leading 4-3 head-to-head. Buckle up for an interesting match!
Already the first few rallies of first game boosted the atmosphere in the arena; jumping, smashing, return impossible shots and long, long rallies seemed to be part of the recipe for this men’s double final. The Chinese started off best and got a 6-3 lead before Kamura and Sonoda closed the gap again. It was 11-10 at interval and from then Li and Liu finished first game on the winning side with two good streaks of 4 and 6 consecutive points.
Wild rally and wild atmosphere
Second game was a much closer affair and all the time with the two Japanese one small step ahead. At 19-17 for Kamura and Sonoda we saw what may have been the wildest rally of the match; Li and Liu basically had won the point but the Japanese managed to return the Chinese smashes three times lying on the floor. Little did it help though and Li and Liu came up to 19-19. The atmosphere was wild!
Next point went to the Chinese who got their first match point of the match. This turned out to be enough when Sonoda placed the shuttle 20 cm out of the court and China won the men’s double title for the 8th time in history, only one title less than Indonesia’s record 9.
21-12 and 21-19 made China take two World Championship titles this year, the same number as Japan, while Spain took the last one.
Congratulations to the new World Champions; Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen!
Thank you and goodbye from Nanjing – see you at the World Championships 2019 in Basel, Switzerland!
Men’s double medals:
Gold: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, China
Silver: Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, Japan
Bronze: Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan, China
Bronze: Chen Hung Ling/Wang Chi-Lin, Chinese Taipei
You can see the results of all the semifinals here