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5 Things We Learnt – BWF World Tour Finals

Before we start, let’s just appreciate the fact that ALL five winners of the 2019 BWF World Tour Finals are also the reigning All England champions – just saying!

Kento smashes records 

We thought he would win this one. It was almost a certainty.

What we didn’t expect was such a tight game, but Anthony Ginting sure did bring his fighting spirit to Guangzhou.

It was a mesmerising spectacle between two top class players – but in the end, there was only one winner.

Not only a winner, but a record breaker too! Momota set a new men’s singles record of 11 titles in a season – seeing him overtake Lee Chong Wei’s record of 10 back in 2010.

With two Super 1000s and three 750s under his belt in 2019, this was undeniably King Kento’s year.

Let’s see what 2020 brings with a home Olympic Games the main event!

Chen makes her mark

Chen Yu Fei ignored the statistics as she closed off her winning season with another victory, securing her seventh title in as many finals.

The numbers may not have been in her favour – having a 1-14 record against Tai Tzu Ying - but you would not have known the standings were so far apart when watching this showdown.

Although things got a little tense at times, with a narrow 17-18 lead in the third, Chen always looked in control. Fine reward too that she looks set to climb the rankings to world number one next week, becoming the first Chinese number one after Li Xuerui.

This event was one we didn’t like to predict as the tide has changed many times throughout this season and it was just too close to call.

Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara still couldn’t find her winning momentum, having reached five finals during 2019 with no victories. It was Tai who stopped her this time around but don’t write her off. 2020 could be the year the young starlet really makes her mark.

Let the battle continue

They may have had the same number of tournament wins in 2019 as Momota, but the Minions just couldn’t round off the year in the style so many of us had assumed they would.

Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon missed out on a finals day place, pushed aside by Japan’s Endo and Watanabe on Saturday.

They may have secured two Super 1000s and four Super 750s during the season, but it was the Daddies turn to step up and make the world take notice.

Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan – having reached 11 finals this year – are not being pushed aside by anyone and this was their time to shine.

Heading into Olympic year, the men’s doubles event is certainly the one that has us all gripped. We can’t wait to see how the Daddies vs Minions battle continues into 2020.

All the attack

We got this one spot on! Having not advanced out of the group stage this time last year, Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan entertained with solid defence and scarily good attacking prowess which stunned their Japanese opponents.

This was their sixth title of 2019 and Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara just couldn’t live with them on the day.

They are leading the world rankings for a reason and despite facing the world champions, they took this game on with superb dedication and passion which will set them up for a promising start to the new year.

Finding their form  

Sweet revenge. That is what the Chinese mixed doubles pair, Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong enjoyed on Sunday as they managed to overcome compatriots Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong after missing out in 2018.

And they made it look pretty easy to be honest.

It took just 36 minutes for them to take the title, and they really needed this one. Having lost their last three finals, some confidence was needed.

They found their form again though – they have had plenty this year – claiming the World Championships and all three Super 1000 titles.

The top of the rankings remain close and will do until Tokyo – we wonder how things will be looking this time next year with Olympic medals up for grabs too.

 

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