Japan’s top-ranked pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi crashed out of the women’s doubles in the third round of the world badminton championships in Jakarta on Thursday.
The Japanese, who were granted a first round bye, came unstuck against unseeded Malaysian duo Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Soong Fie Cho 21-15, 12-21, 21-14.
Matsutomo and Takahashi were considered one of the few pairs capable of breaking China’s stranglehold on the women’s doubles event. The Chinese have won every women’s doubles crown bar one since they began competing in the world championships 32 years ago.
The top-seeded Japanese pair hoped this would be their year for gold, having competed at three past world championships and never advancing beyond the third round.
But they could only match that effort, with Takahashi conceding they cracked under the pressure.
“We are very disappointed,” she said via a translator.
“We made so many mistakes, everything was bad.”
There have been casualties across the board in the doubles events in Jakarta, with men’s defending champions Shin Baek Choel and Ko Sung Hyun failing to make it beyond the second round and fourth-seeded Chinese pair Chai Biao and Hong Wei also bowing out early.
Luckily the Koreans have plenty of compatriots to pick up the slack, with top men’s seeds Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong taking on fellow countrymen Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang for a spot in the quarter finals later Thursday.
Elsewhere, Denmark’s mixed doubles pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen suffered a dramatic loss to Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto, with the fifth seeds falling 22-20, 19-21, 23-21 to their lesser ranked opponents.
The quarter finals of the men’s, women’s and mixed double events get underway in Jakarta on Friday. – Agence France-Presse