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TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019: REPEAT PERFORMANCE – Momota, Matsumoto and Nagahara Defend their Crowns

27 August 2019

Basel, Switzerland – Kento Momota (JPN) faced Anders Antonsen (DEN) in the men’s singles final today, who has become something of a crowd favorite at this tournament being the only European to go this deep in the tournament. Antonsen made his entrance carrying no racquet bag but instead wrapped in the Danish flag, hamming it up for the crowd when he arrived on court. King Kento was not impressed and quickly disabused him of any confusion of why Momota is the reigning World Champ and World No. 1. Though Antonsen jumped out to a very early lead at 6-3, Momota was just warming up. He quickly pulled away from there and never looked back. Over the course of the next 35 minutes, Antonsen was taken to school in a master class in badminton, and will probably rethink the flashy entrance next time, as he was demolished by the World Champ, 21-9, 21-3. With this win, Momota joins Yang Yang, Lin Dan and Chen Long as only the fourth men’s singles player to repeat at the World Championships.

At last year’s World Championships in Nanjing, women’s doubles pair Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara (JPN) stunned then-World No. 1 compatriots Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in a tense three-set match that saw Matsumoto and Nagahara crowned World Champions. History virtually repeated itself here today. Though Matsumoto and Nagahara sailed through the first game 21-11, Fukushima and Hirota were determined not to lose their second chance at a gold medal. They led at 20-16 in the second game but failed to convert on four game points as Matusmoto/Nagahara drew even, threatening to win in just two games, but Fukushima/Hirota went on to win the next two points and the game, 22-20. It was their turn to fight back from match point as Matsumoto/Nagahara led 20-15 in the deciding game. But Fukushima/Hirota amazingly drew level and then even held match point of their own at 21-20. Yet Matsumoto/Nagahara turned the tables again, to finally snatch victory at 21-11, 20-22, 23-21 after a thrilling 85 minutes. The two pairs have met nine times on the world stage, and Matsumoto/Nagahara now just barely hold the advantage at 5-4. This heated rivalry for the women’s double top spot promises to be a thriller for the forseeable future.

There was further success for Team Yonex in the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships at the same venue, as English pair Rach Choong and Andrew Martin successfully defended their mixed doubles title for the fourth year in a row. Choong also picked up a silver in the singles, as well as defending her Women's Doubles crown with her partner. 

For full final results, go here.

Kento Momota

Photos: Badminton Photo

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