The young talent wasn’t quite able to master the more experienced players in the finals of the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open at the North Shore Events Centre today.
China and Indonesia won two titles a piece and Japan also took a victory in front of what was a big and enthusiastic crowd at the US$50,000 World Series Event with three matches taking over an hour as they went to three games.
In an all-Indonesian affair the fifth seeds Praveen Jordan and Vita Marissa defeated the top seeded countrymen and world No12 pair, Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili in straight games in the mixed doubles final to start the day.
In the women’s singles the 15-year-old prodigy Akane Yamaguichi from Japan, who was playing in her first senior tournament outside of home nation, looked set to win the title but eventually fell 21-17 18-21 22-20 to the third seed and world No56 Deng Xuan of China.
The men’s singles featured 216th ranked Xue Song, a qualifier and the finalist a the Australian Open last week, who had plenty of opportunities to win the title but former winner in New Zealand Riichi Takeshita of Japan proved to be too steady on the vital points. The eleventh seeded Japanese player won 21-16 16-21 21-17 in just over an hour. However the results of the past two weeks for Song will no doubt have him on the radar of the very powerful Chinese Federation as they look towards the next Olympics.
The longest contest of the finals day was the women’s doubles which took one hour 13 minutes and had the Chinese pair of Dongni Ou and Yuanting Tang take three games to overcome the top 20 ranked pair of Vivian Hoo and Khe Wei Woon.
Indonesia’s Angga Pratama and Ryan Saputra dominated the men’s doubles final winning in straight games over an unseeded Chinese pair. The Indonesians ranked 12 in the world won 21-6 22-20.