Defending women’s champions Japan was too strong for Malaysia – ending Malaysia’s run in the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships with a 3-0 win in the semi-finals at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Saturday.

For the record, Japan edged Malaysia 3-2 in a Group W to top the two-team group with Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah defeating World No 3 Akane Yamaguchi 21-16, 13-21, 21-18 and Sea Games champion S. Kisona beat Aya Ohori 21-14, 21-13.

However, on Saturday, Yamaguchi avenged that defeat with straight games 21-17, 21-18 win in 46 minutes for Japan’s first point.

Malaysia fielded a scratch pair Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng in the first doubles and it came with a heavy price – an 11-21, 4-21 defeat to Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota in 35 minutes for Japan to lead 2-0.

In the second singles, Kisona went out in 13 and 13 to Sayaka Takahashi bringing an end to Malaysia’s campaign in Manila.

However, it was not all in vain as Malaysia will be on the plane to Denmark in May after having qualified on merit to the Uber Cup Finals. The Asian Championships served as the Asian qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus from May 16-24.

Meanwhile, Korea defeated Thailand 3-1 in the second semi-final for Sunday’s final against Japan. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

RESULTS (Semi-finals)


Japan 3 Malaysia 0
(Japan first)

WS1: Akane Yamaguchi beat Soniia Cheah 21-17, 21-18
WD1: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota beat Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng Wen 21-11, 21-4
WS2: Sayaka Takahashi beat S. Kisona 21-13, 21-13

Korea 3 Thailand 1
(Korea first)

WS1: An Se Young beat Busanan Ongbamrunphan 24-22, 21-17
WD1: Lee Seo Hee-Shin Seung Chan beat Jongkolphhan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonjai 12-21, 21-19, 21-11
WS2: Sung Ji Hyun lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong 18-21, 21-18, 23-21
WD2: Kim So Yeong-Kon Hee Yong beat Chayanit Chaladchalam-Phataimas Muenwong Chaiwan 22-20, 20-22, 21-13

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