Japanese pair earn title shot at All England

Japanese pair earn title shot at All England

Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida reached the women's doubles final at the US$1.3 million All England Open Championships 2024 in Birmingham yesterday.

They defeated fellow Japanese Rena Miyaura and Ayako Sakuramoto 21-15, 21-12 in the first semi-final match of the World Tour Super 1000 event at Utilita Arena Birmingham.

They will face either Kim So-Yeong and Kong Hee-Yong or Baek Ha-Na and Lee So-Hee, both from South Korea, in the final today.

Men's doubles pair Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren, the last Thai hopes in the tournament, bowed out in the quarter-finals on Friday.

They lost to Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-hsuan of Taiwan 13-21, 17-21.

Their defeat followed the exit of Aimsaard sisters -- Benyapa and Nuntakarn -- in the women's doubles on Saturday.

Meanwhile Thai badminton chief Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul praised the performance of Thai players in Birmingham but expressed concerns over their fitness and injuries following the withdrawal of Benyapa and Nuntakarn on Saturday.

"After having played many big tournaments in the past month, it just goes to show how fit you have to be to play at this level," said Patama. "The best example is the Chinese players, who won three titles at the French Open a week ago, but they looked exhausted at the All England Open and only two pairs made it to the semi-finals in the mixed doubles event.

"Benyapa and Nuntakarn did very well to reach the women's doubles semi-finals, but unfortunately they had to pull out because of an injury. We have to be careful because we're getting really close to the Olympics. Hopefully the players will be injury-free and stay fit in the next few months leading up to Paris 2024."

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