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Sudirman Cup 2019 – Thailand and Japan Advance to the Semi-Finals!

24 May 2019

Nanning, China ­– Thailand derailed a Korean team that had been red-hot coming into the quarter-finals. Starting in mixed doubles, the World No. 4 pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai slowly but steadily dismantled Seo Sung Jae and Chae Yu Jung, 21-28, 21-28. Much was the same in men’s singles, as Kantaphon Wangcharoen finished Heo Kwang Hee 21-17, 21-17 in 49 minutes. Korea was able to take one back in men’s doubles, as Min Hyuk Kang and Him Won Ho survived three games, 19-21, 21-17, 21-14 to defeat Tinn Isriyanet and Kittinupong Kedren. But then it was time for a much-anticipated matchup between Ratchanok Intanon and rising star, An Se Young. The Korean youngster, fresh off a 3-game marathon win against the women’s World No. 1 the previous day did not look nearly as energetic, as Intanon was able to string her all over the court, winning comfortably 21-15, 21-17. Thailand will face a stiff challenge in the semi-finals, as they draw China next.

The following day, the tournament’s top seeds, Japan, needed only three matches to end the hopes of Malaysia. The opening men’s doubles match was a stunner, as Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda battled for an hour and a half with Malaysian counterparts, Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, barely winning at 13-21, 26-24, 23-21. Nozomi Okuhara, on the other hand, needed just over 40 minutes to put away Soniia Cheah in straight games, 21-16, 21-13. World No. 1 Kento Momota followed his compatriot’s lead with a similar performance, defeating Lee Zii jia 21-18, 21-16. Japan will next face tournament dark horse, Indonesia.

Photos: Badminton Photo

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