Japan and Thailand eked out narrow 3-2 victories to enter the semi-finals of the ROBOT Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2017 yesterday in Ho Chih Minh City.
In the last four stage, Japan take on China while Thailand face Korea.
Japan overcame a 0-2 setback against Indonesia after Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open champions Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (Men’s Doubles) and Sayaka Sato (Women’s Singles) fell to Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Hanna Ramadhini respectively.
The fightback came in Men’s Singles through Kenta Nishimoto, who eased past Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu, 21-15 21-16. Women’s Doubles No.1 pair Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi made no mistake against Anggia Shitta Awanda/Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah (21-14 21-13).
It was left to young Japanese pair Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (featured image) to complete Japan’s recovery and that they did in style against Edi Subaktiar/Annisa Saufika with a 21-16 21-17 result.
Thailand shrugged off a 1-2 deficit against India thanks to Pornpawee Chochuwong. The World Junior Championships finalist in Women’s SIngles helped Thailand level at 2-2 by beating Rituparna Das in a hard-fought match, 11-21 21-12 21-15.
Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy put India on the right track by winning the first game of the Women’s Doubles against Rawinda Prajongjai/Jongkolphan Kititharakul in the last match. The Thais however took a close second game and powered through in the end, 15-21 21-17 21-7.
In the other quarter-finals, China decimated Malaysia 3-0, losing only one game in the bargain, while Korea were just as dominant over Chinese Taipei.