ALL ENGLAND 2012 QF – Japanese inspire!

Japan was the only team that saw nothing but success on quarter-finals day of the 2012 Yonex All England Superseries Premier, as Kenichi Tago and Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata […]

Japan was the only team that saw nothing but success on quarter-finals day of the 2012 Yonex Premier, as Kenichi Tago and Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata both came away with hard-won victories.

By Emzi Regala, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

As the whole Japan nation still mourns from the suffering the disastrous March 11, 2011 earthquake brought, the recovering nation also draws strength and inspiration from the courage displayed by its people.  Thousands of miles away, in Birmingham, two inspiring wins add flickers of hope to the hearts of Japanese.

The 8th seeds Japanese pair of Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata made a good head start against Chinese Taipei’s Fang Chieh Min / Lee Sheng Mu to take the first game 21-15. The Chinese Taipei pair, however, came back in the second game with smash winners that allowed them a 21-17 win.

In the third and final game, Fang/Lee just couldn’t find an answer to the dominance displayed by their Japanese counterparts giving away the 3rd game 21-12.  Hashimoto/Hirata advance to the semi-finals and will face China’s world #1’s Cai/Fu, who had an easier win 21-19, 21-8 against Indonesia’s Ahsan/Septano.

One more Japanese stood on the same court following Hashimoto/Hirata’s win. Kenichi Tago, did not let his disappointing 22-24 loss in the opener against China’s Chen Long got in the way.  Determined to join his team-mates Hashimoto/Hirata in the semi-finals, Tago played more aggressively in the second game, silencing the 3rd seeded Chinese 21-12 to even up the match at one apiece.

In the deciding game, Chen Long took control of the net but Tago’s persistence and his never-say-die attitude pull him through 21-14 to end Chen Long’s All England campaign.  The come-from-behind win gives the 2010 All England finalist Tago a ticket to face Super Dan on Saturday.

Semi-finals day at the 2012 Yonex All England coincides with the 1st anniversary of the big earthquake that wiped out many cities and destroyed thousands of lives in northern Japan.  As the nation remembers the dark moments in March a year ago, Tago and the pair of Hashimoto/Hirata will definitely warm the hearts of millions of Japanese to strive harder to overcome challenges.

All results HERE

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About Emzi Regala