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Blaze of glory for Axelsen and Yamaguchi at BWF World Tour Finals

YONEX All England champions Viktor Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi crowned superb seasons with victory at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok.

Axelsen suffered just his third defeat of the calendar year, to India’s HS Prannoy, in the group stage in Thailand.

And the great Dane played out a semi-final classic with Japan’s Kodai Naraoka, dropping the first game 23-21 but coming back to prevail 21-19 21-18.

He would have expected another stern test from Anthony Ginting, who beat Loh Kean Yew, Jonatan Christie and Chou Tien Chen in the group stage.

But Axelsen dominated the final, taking 21-13 21-14 victory in just 41 minutes.

He said: “It feels absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have wished for a better ending (to the year).”

In women’s singles Yamaguchi returned to winning ways after missing out on the recent European swing of the BWF World Tour.

She dropped only one game en route to the title, in her final Group A match when qualification was already secured, beating Tai Tzu Ying 21-18 22-20 in the final.

Chinese pairs dominated doubles disciplines, coming out on top in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.

2022 YONEX All England finalists Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong, recently reformed as a pairing, downed home favourites Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-19 18-21 21-13.

Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi beat Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 17-21 21-19 12-21 to lift the men’s doubles crown.

It was so close yet so far for another Thai pairing as Benyapa and Nuntakarn Aimsaard fell 21-13 21-14 to Olympic silver medallists Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China.


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