Photo credit: Tang Shi
Opposite what we are used to from most other badminton tournaments the finals at the Asian Games are split over two days. Today the winners of the women’s double and mixed double categories had to be found, and the first final was a very close battle.
We had China’s World Champions from 2017 on one side of the net against Japan’s Olympic Champions from 2016 on the other. The third seeded against the second seeded. Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan against Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. The two pairs had played seven times before with the Chinese duo having a 4-3 head-to-head lead. Everything was pointing at a close final today.
And close was exactly what it became. None of the two pairs had lost any games on their way to the final at the Asian Games in Jakarta. Obviously that statistic would be destroyed today.
The four girls delivered an intense match where there was maximum 3 points between the two pairs in first game. Matsutomo and Takahashi were the first to reach 20 allowing them three game points to take first game. But a strong finish from Chen and Jia made them take the game 22-20.
Second game was just as intense with several opportunities for both pairs on the way. The Japanese were leading with 3 points at maximum but once again they had to see Chen and Jia successfully closing the game and the match. Once again 22-20 and the Chinese duo secured their country’s first gold at the Asian Games, while Matsutomo and Takahashi settles for silver for the second consecutive time.
Big congratulations to Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan!
Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan, China vs. Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Japan 22-20 22-20 (70 min)
Gold: Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan, China
Silver: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Japan
Bronze: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, Japan and Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu, Indonesia