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(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Bronze to silver to gold: “A rainbow result”
Date: 12/19/2021 3:38 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
While Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi converted silver into gold, Chen Qingchen/ Jia Yifan made amends for the Tokyo loss.

An eighth title for the Thais
The recently crowned World No. 1 Thai pair won an eighth title in nine finals this year. Moreover, they went all the way this time to become world champions. In doing so, they have avenged the loss to Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino in Tokyo. Ending as the runner-ups, the Japanese also improved on their bronze in the last edition. 

- We are extremely happy to have won the last match of the year, Taerattanachai was ecstatic.

- Happy, happy, happy, her partner chimed in.

- We are very proud to have won a medal in such a prestigious tournament, Higashino was not sad.

An injured Watanabe
Unfortunately, it was a bit sad that Watanabe could not play his best. He had a back injury.

- We were aware that Watanabe was injured. We tried to not get affected and kept up the power, the Thai female player revealed.

- I was unable to play my usual fast game and was very slow. There was some pain in my back. It had some effect on the outcome of the match, Watanabe agreed. 

While Higashino tried to cover for his partner by playing the uncharacteristic rotation play, it was not enough. 

- I was not as good as my female opponent, Higashino unjustly blamed herself. 

The Thai pair won 21-13, 21-14. 

First-ever men’s doubles title for Japan
Japan was the most successful nation in this edition with two golds. The in-form pair of Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi shook off a 5-1 record against today’s opponents and went all out. He Ji Ting/ Tan Qiang were at a loss as the Japanese firepower broke through their defence. The Japanese ran away with the opener 21-12. 

- Yes, we won, Hoki cheered.

- We focused on the attack and it worked. We were also better than them in the service game, Kobayashi explained.

Trailing 10-6 in the next game, they reeled off nine straight points to decisively turn the tide in their favour. They soon closed it out 21-18. Hoki/ Kobayashi had surprised many by winning silver in 2019. However, they cemented their place among the very best with gold this time: a first-ever for Japan in men’s doubles.

- I think we played well. The most important result is that we realised our shortcomings. We will work on them, the Chinese acknowledged.

- They are a good pair and we are very happy about the result, the Japanese said.  

China atop the podium yet again
In tune with China’s historic dominance in women’s doubles, Chen Qingchen/ Jia Yifan ensured that the nation bagged at least one World Championships gold for the 24th consecutive time. They overpowered Lee Sohee/ Shin Seungchan in straight games, winning 21-16, 21-17. 

- There were some long rallies in the beginning. It was mostly a mental game after that. I’ll say it is a rainbow result, Chen was thrilled.

While it is a second title for the Chinese pair after 2017, the Koreans improved on their semifinals finish in 2014. 

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