Li and Liu. Asia, World and World Tour Finals Champions (Photo: Badminton Photo)
The best of the best
Date: 12/16/2018 2:26 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
There we have it, the end of year finale has come to a close. All year-round players have been working hard to reach the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, in order to be crowned the best of the best. We now have our champions.

After a fantastic week of brilliant Badminton, helped by the slow but good conditions in the arena and brilliantly loud fans, we could have a very long highlights reel of great shots and long rallies. But in the end, only one player/pair can be crowned the best and receive a share of the total prize pot of 1.5 million USD.

The Chinese treble 
Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen have built the nice reputation of delivering at the very biggest tournaments. Coming into the BWF World Tour Finals, the Chinese pair’s ‘only’ titles were the Asia Championships and the World Championships, both promisingly on Chinese soil. 

In today’s final, Li and Liu were riding a wave of form that gathered momentum in some big group stage matches. The plucky Japanese pair of Endo and Watanabe were caught in this wave today and were washed away in two straight games. Landing the Chinese Men’s Doubles pair a fantastic treble of title wins for 2018.  

Number 2 beats 1
Reflecting on a great finals day, it threw up a few unexpected results. Namely China’s Shi Yuqi, who lifted the roof when beating world number one Kento Momota. The Japanese World Champion had no answer to Shi’s ‘total Badminton’ and use of every inch of the court. The world number two put together a perfect game plan and was determined to please his big home support. A great time to record your first victory over Momota.

Similarly, world number 2 beat world number one in the Mixed Doubles. A match-up that we have seen numerous times due to China’s dominance in this event. Much like the Men’s Singles, in seven match-ups, all have gone to the number one pair and World Champions Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. 

But not today. After 3 games of once again breath-taking rallies, it was the turn of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping to collapse to the floor and celebrate. Completing a great day for the China national team, with 3 out of 5 titles staying in the host country. 

Finals day results:

Women’s Singles 
P.V. Sindhu (IND) bt Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) 21-19, 21-17

Mixed Doubles 
Wang Yilyu/ Huang Dongping (CHN) bt Zheng Siwei/ Huang Yaqiong (CHN) 23-21, 16-21, 21-18

Men’s Singles 
Shi Yuqi (CHN) bt Kento Momota (JPN) 21-12, 21-11

Women’s Doubles 
Misaki Matsutomo/ Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) bt Lee So Hee/ Shin Seong Chan (KOR) 21-12, 22-20

Men’s Doubles 
Li Junhui/ Liu Yuchen (CHN) bt Hiroyuki Endo/ Yuta Watanabe (JPN) 21-15, 21-11

For the full fixtures and results, click here.

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