Asian Games: Olympic Champions Matsutomo-Takahashi lose badminton doubles final

Misaki Matsutomo and her partner Ayaka Takahashi failed in their bid to become the first Japanese women to win Asian Games singles or doubles gold in 48 years, falling 2-0 to Chinese pair Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan in the doubles badminton final on Monday.

Despite rallying in the second game to stave off a number of match points, the Japanese duo lost their second consecutive Asian Games doubles final, this one 22-20, 22-20 at GBK Istora Arena in Jakarta.

The Olympic champions said despite the loss, they were satisfied with their fight against the powerhouse Chinese.

«It has been a while since I saw such a strong Chinese team,» said Takahashi. «But we did not play badly, it is progress that we could fight back against a Chinese pair in top form.»

Matsutomo said, «It’s frustrating, but I thought we should play more and more close matches so that we will improve.»

(Takahashi, left, and Matsutomo)

The Olympic champions had their chances, with two game points in the first stanza, but the Chinese players proved too resilient in the big moments.

The pair had helped Japan win the title in the team competition last Wednesday. The gold was Japan’s first in this event in the Asian Games since 1970 and the nation’s first badminton gold since 1998.

«This tournament was surely a good one that will lead to the future,» Takahashi said. «Although there were things I regretted compared to four years ago, but I could play my game.»

All — Kyodo News+

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