ASIAN CHAMPS 2012 SF – Hayakawa/Endo spoil Chinese party

Japan’s Hayakawa and Endo (photo) entered the final of the Badminton Asia Championships for the first time of their career and could be the sole non-Chinese winners of this year’s […]

Japan’s Hayakawa and Endo (photo) entered the final of the for the first time of their career and could be the sole non-Chinese winners of this year’s edition as China scooped both finals spots in all other events.

By Emzi Regala, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: China Foto Press (live)

Hayakawa’s superb control of the net and Endo’s successful maneuvres to change the pace of the rally proved to be the right tactics as they recorded a straight-game victory 21-12, 21-17 in the 2012 Asian Championships semis against China’s Hong Wei / Shen Ye.  The Japanese pair effectively silenced the crowd at Qingdao as they controlled most of the rallies all throughout the match.

The 1st game saw the Japanese pair concentrating their attack on the tall Hong Wei making him dig deep and scramble around all four corners of the court.  The 7th-seeded Chinese pair, frustrated at the change of pace, just couldn’t find the rhythm to counter Hayakawa/Endo’s attacks. The 2nd game opened with better angled shots from the Chinese that kept them and the Chinese home crowd alive in the early part of the game. But Hayakawa’s skills at the net prevented them from gaining momentum.  Hong and Shen (photo) came close 16-19 but the Japanese pair’s fast pushes and fast flat shots, again concentrated on Hong Wei, sealed the win.  Japan and Korea will face it off for the gold medal fight in men’s doubles in tomorrow’s finals match.

Lin Dan provided Chen Jin with easy but crucial Olympic points via a semifinal’s walk over, citing a waist injury, contracted during the practice in the same day.  Fellow Chinese Pengyu Du (photo) snatched a victory against another Chinese World #3 Chen Long in a three-game match 17-21, 21-16, 21-12.

In the women’s doubles, the Chinese duo of Bao/Zhong hunted the net to break the defensive plays of the Japanese pair of Matsuo/Naito to win the first game 21-16.  Bao read the play very well and aggressively moved forward to the net at every available opportunity to break Japan’s rally when the score reached 18-all in the 2nd game.  Japan leveled it up again at 19-all but Matsuo’s decision to take a shuttle that was going out proved too much a price to pay as they lost the rally to give a match point to Bao/Zhong.  The young Chinese pair did not waste any opportunity and won the match on their first match point opportunity for a 21-19 2nd game victory.

World #1 Yang Yihan will have a chance to avenge her 2012 All England finals loss to Li Xuerui as both women trashed their respective opponents in the semis.

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About Emzi Regala