When Yamaguchi stood tall in Wuhan
Unlimited determination, spirit, and enthusiasm are the hallmarks of Japanese woman shuttler Akane Yamaguchi who clinched the Badminton Asia woman's singles crown at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in Wuhan on Sunday.
In the final, the third-seeded Yamaguchi tamed Chinese hope He Binjiao, the fifth seed 21-19, 21-9 - the first from Japan to win the woman's singles Asian title.
"I was the smallest on the podium but I felt on the top of the world...surrounded by three other Chinese players. I felt proud. A sense of pride overcame me.
"Creating history as the first woman to win the Asian title is something else. There will be many more historic occasions from others but to me to be the lone Japanese on the podium (women's singles) is priceless," said Yamaguchi.
"The sense of pride is something different from creating history. It is something that cannot be described in worlds."
Yamaguchi's title was one of the three won by Japan in the 39th edition of the Badminton Asia Championships.
The other two titles came from the men's doubles pair Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe and Kento Momota who retained his men's singles.
Fifth seeds Endo-Watanabe shocked Indonesia's top-ranked Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-18, 21-3 while world champion Momota came back from a game down to beat China's second seed Shi Yuqi 12-21, 18, 21-8.
China took the other two titles at stake - the women's doubles and the mixed doubles.
Fourth seeds, Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan defeated Japan's world champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara 19-21, 21-14, 21-19 for the women's doubles title.
It was an all-China mixed double final number two seeds Wang Yilyu-Huang Dingping triumphed 21-11, 13-21, 23-21 against He Jiting-Du Yue.
Results (All finals)
Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (CHN) beat He Jiting-Du Yue (CHN) 21-11, 13-21, 23-21
Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (CHN) beat Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (JPN) 19-21, 21-14, 21-19
Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) beat He Bingjiao (CHN) 21-19, 21-9
Kento Momota (JPN) beat Shi Yuqi (CHN) 12-21, 21-18, 21-8
Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (JPN) beat Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) 21-18, 21-3