OSAKA INT’L 2011 – New generation

Japan monopolized the podium, but every titleist at the 2011 Osaka International Challenge was a first time winner. Story and photos: Hiroyuki Taguchi, Badzine Correspondent, Live in Osaka Keigo Sonoda, […]
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Osaka International men's doubles champions Keigo Sonoda (left) and Takatoshi Kurose (right) © Hiroyuki Taguchi

Japan monopolized the podium, but every titleist at the 2011 Osaka was a first time winner.

Story and photos: Hiroyuki Taguchi, Badzine Correspondent, Live in Osaka

Keigo Sonoda, a 20-year-Japanese, won his first international title in Osaka this weekend. Sonoda beat his opponent Sho Zeniya 18-21, 21-16, 21-16 in the men’s singles final. He also took the men’s doubles title with Takatoshi Kurose.

“I’m happy that I got this title. I felt pressure from the national team, so I tried to go on the offensive,” said Sonoda.  “Playing doubles helps my singles.”

In the women’s singles, Minatsu Mitani – who forewent this year’s Australian Open despite having been runner-up in Melbourne last time around – prevailed rather easily over 2008 Osaka champion Megumi Taruno in two games.

Koharu Yonemoto took the mixed doubles title but didn’t quite have enough to seal a second and had to settle for runner-up in the women’s doubles final, where she and Yuriko Miki lost in three.

The last non-Japanese competitors departed in the men’s doubles semi-finals, where Chinese Taipei’s Tsai/Tseng fell to eventual runners-up Wada/Watanabe.  This year’s field was severely weakened by the en masse withdrawal of the entire Korean, Thai, Macau, and Singapore contingents in mid-March.

Final Results:
XD: Takeshi Kamura / Koharu Yonemoto (JPN) beat Keisuke Kawaguchi / Shinobu Ogura (JPN) 21-18, 21-7
MS: Keigo Sonoda (JPN) beat Sho Zeniya 18-21, 21-16, 21-16
WS: Minatsu Mitani (JPN) beat Megumi Taruno 21-10, 21-10
WD: Miri Ichimaru / Shiho Tanaka (JPN) beat Yuriko Miki / Koharu Yonemoto 19-21, 21-18, 21-14
MD: Takatoshi Kurose / Keigo Sonoda (JPN) beat Shu Wada / Tatsuya Watanabe 21-14, 21-14

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