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Japan becomes second nation after China to win single discipline in three successive editions at China Masters

Published at :November 27, 2023 at 1:49 AM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 1:17 AM
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(Courtesy : @theone_xyz/Twitter)

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Kodai Naraoka emerged victorious in the latest edition of the competition.

World No. 5 Kodai Naroaka defeated compatriot Kenta Nishimoto in the men’s singles final at BWF China Masters 2023. With this, Japan becomes the second nation after China to win a single discipline in three consecutive editions at China Masters.

Former world no.1, Kenta Momota, won the men’s singles title at China Masters in 2018 and 2019 editions. And following a four-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Kodai Naraoka has now captured the title by defeating countrymate Kenta Nishimoto comfortably in straight games (21-13, 21-13).

Japan had four men’s singles representatives — Koki Watanabe, Kenta Nishimoto, Kodai Naraoka and Kanta Tsuneyama at China Masters 2023. Of the four, three progressed to the semifinals with Watanabe the lone shuttler to exit — he was knocked out in the opening round. China’s Zhao Jun Peng, who was the other semifinalist couldn’t progress after losing to Nishimoto in a close encounter.

The final was a one-sided affair with Naraoka all over Nishimoto since the opening minute. The match, however, lasted close to 50 minutes with the latter holding edge in few longer rallies. Prior to this edition, Kento Momota defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen twice (in 2018 and 2019) and emerged victorious.

This time, Momota failed to qualify even for the tournament as he is ranked below the entry standards. However, he has made a good comeback as he recently won the Korea Masters – his first BWF Tour title in over a year. This win should help him get back stronger with the Paris Olympics 2024 qualification in picture.

Kodai Naraoka is the lone Japanese in men’s singles to make it to BWF World Tour Finals. Kenta Nishimoto is placed 10th after accumulating 71220 points. A total of only eight players/pairs from each category qualify for the competition. The East Asian country has good depth in the men’s singles department and if Momota comes back to his original form then the nation will be a force to reckon in team events.

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