Badminton in Japan

Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by gaDEfan, May 6, 2007.

  1. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Players progressing to the WD and MD Finals are as follows:

    WD: Hoshi/Matsuda (Unisys) v Kawazoe/Imai (Marusugi Bluvic)
    MD: Kaneko/Kubota (Tonami) v Takeuchi/Matsui (Hitachi Info & Telecom. Eng.)

    Hmmm..., Marusugi Bluvic has done surprisingly well; and not only in the WD department. Takeuchi Hiroki, the only player, so far, to have given Naraoka a fright (R1), is also affiliated to the team (as the sole male).
     
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  2. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    I don't think I've ever seen Sato Sayaka playing that seriously before. She always looked like she's about to collapse on court. She must have really not wanted to lose to her kohai. She stands a good chance of winning tomorrow.

    And is Naraoka getting better round after round, or were his opponents getting worse and worse? Sakai played like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. That MS match was not what I was expecting.
     
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  3. Pcyl

    Pcyl Regular Member

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    Someone earlier commented that Naraoka has not made progress since his junior championship. I was afraid that the comment was also close to what I was seeing. But this time, it looks like Naraoka has decided to to make another leap forward and proves his critics wrong. Naraoka did well and i think Minoru Kuga will have a hard time.

    You're right kurako. Marusugi Bluvic has become the unexpected dark horse seeking to dethrone Unisys, NTT, Tonami, Saishunkan and Hokuto Bank. In the WS department, Yonex is on a clear path to taking the throne and making the popular racket brand even more popular.

    Still waiting for https://www.youtube.com/user/smashandnettv/videos to upload replay of matches so I could watch matches that I missed.
     
    #2203 Pcyl, Jun 1, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
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  4. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    According to YouTube comments from the first round, Takeuchi Hiroki is a former NTT East player, so he's not as shabby as we all think.
     
  5. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Yep, although his most notable results are as a doubles player.

    Incidentally, Takeuchi resigned from NTT-East in March 2016; he was implicated in the casino scandal.
     
  6. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Koga Minoru did it!

    In the post-match interview, when asked what factor contributed to his win, Koga replied that he changed his play-style from G2 onwards. Whereas in G1, he strove to continuously attack, in G2 he shifted to a slightly more passive approach, which included utilising his defence skills. And, indeed, in the final game, Naraoka's frustration was evident. Everything he gave to Koga seemed to come back.
     
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  7. Pcyl

    Pcyl Regular Member

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    yes, I am happy for Minoru Koga. I always felt he has it. He is an intelligent player but often fall short on stamina. This time he did it. In the match with Shimono, it was a matter of who collapse exhausted first. He persevered but the match could have gone both ways. This time with Naraoka, he managed to conserve energy when it matters.

    WS went as expected with Sato Sayaka from Yonex winning. With a bit of more experience, I think Asuka takahashi has what it takes to win Sato Sayaka. Anyway congratulations to Sato Sayaka. Wonder what Sato Sayaka shared in the interview?
     
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  8. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    Interesting tidbits. Another collateral damage of the Tago incident :rolleyes:.

    Unisys won WD as expected; however, the Marusugi pair put up a great match. Kawazoe Maiko was taking a few pages out of Higashino Arisa's book with those jump smashes :eek:

    Tough call between Tonami and Hitachi for MD; however, I would like to see the former world junior champs start making their presence felt already.
     
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  9. Cunning Linguist

    Cunning Linguist Regular Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not his "critic". This is a 19 year old kid I hope will do well. I'm just giving my opinion on his potential/development/whatever.
    An assessment of his performances also depends on what your expectations are.
    In Japan he's only got a handful of players (if that), who are better than him. Quite a feat at 19.
    But who are Koga, Sakai (2021 version), or Takeuchi in terms of international badminton?
    KN, KV and LS were sensational international talents not so long ago, far better than anyone else in the world (!). While the latter two have established themselves on the tour and produced some respectable results against top players, KN has done nothing.

    Your prediction was correct. Naraoka gave Koga a relatively hard time. The #50 in the world gave the #112 a "hard time". If you look at it from a national perspective, this isn't bad at all for a youngster. In terms of Naraoka's prospects of transitioning from international top talent to international top senior, I thought this entire tournament was sadly sobering (I feel the same about WS, by the way).
     
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  10. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Actually, as far as the domestic rankings are concerned, Koga is placed higher than Naraoka (No. 5 vs. No. 7), and they were seeded No. 1, and No. 2, respectively, for this tournament. But I understand where you are coming from. As far as I see it, it all comes down to an inadequate training environment. Koga has NTT-East, Sato Shoji, and Momota. Naraoka has 'Papa-oka'.
     
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  11. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Not much, Unfortunately, she was asked the wrong type of questions.
     
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  12. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Actually, JSports, as separate from the tournament organisers, also conducted interviews of all winning players in the rounds taking place from May 30. I am afraid that it is all in Japanese, but here is the site:
    https://twitter.com/jsports_shuttle
     
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  13. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    What do the results of the Ranking Circuit (RC) show us in terms of up-and-coming players, as well as about the general state of Team B? I have drawn up some simple tables that correlate RC results with initial seedings, as well as domestic rankings.

    Let's look at singles first.
    upload_2021-6-6_14-6-38.png
    With regard to MS, one can see that 5 of the 8 players who reached the QF roughly performed according to expectations. The surprises were Makino, Midorikawa, and Takahashi. The latter was seeded No. 25 out of 32 players, and proved to be the real upstart in this category. Midorikawa, too, deserves kudos, for his stamina if nothing else. He entered for MS, MD, and XD, and reached at least the QF in all of these categories.

    Disappointments, i.e., Team B players eliminated in R1 and R2, comprised Tanaka Yushi, Onodera Yusuke, and Hatano Riku.

    Onto WS:
    upload_2021-6-6_14-20-20.png

    Absolute mayhem here. Takahashi, Mizui, and Kawakami did their job, but what happened to the rest of the Team? Shimoda Natsumi, Saito Shiori, Gunji Riko, and Nidaira Natsuki failed to leave any impression. ... And 30-year-old Sato Sayaka, seeded No. 21 out of 32 players ended up on top. Not much to celebrate as far as WS badminton goes, although Nakashizu and Uchiyama did comparatively well.
     
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  14. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    As for Doubles:

    upload_2021-6-6_16-31-5.png
    It is difficult to draw any overarching conclusions with respect to MD, basically because none of the highly-seeded JTEKT players were able to participate (a trainer tested positive for COVID-19). Except for the Daido Steel pair, no surprises here, ... Okamura/Onodera are worrying, though.

    Kawazoe/Imai (Marusugi Bluvic) were shock runner-ups in the women's doubles, a department which included three new pairs with no domestic ranking. In addition, lowly-ranked Mori/Shigenobu of 77 Bank exceeded expectations.

    And the category, where almost everything went perfectly to script, has to be XD. Here, all quarterfinalists were seeded No. 9 or above. I wasn't quite sure why Showa Denko featured (they are more renowned for employing table-tennis players), but it seems that Hitachi Chemical-affiliated players have made a transfer.

    Apart from the above, it is probably worth noting that no Unisys player progressed to the QF in either the men's or women's singles category. The team fared better in doubles, but even here the MD performance was not up to par. Male powerhouse, Tonami, failed to take a title, but nevertheless managed to clock up respectable results. NTT-East did well in MS, WS, and XD, and, as far as the latter is concerned, may well be setting itself up to rival Unisys, who currently dominate Team A mixed doubles. Midorikawa, small, light, and swift, may possibly join NTT-East after graduating from Waseda.

    I think that I will leave it here. :):)
     
  15. Pcyl

    Pcyl Regular Member

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    I am happy to ind out that Asuka Takahashi has been promoted to Team A. Hope she will train hard and keep the position for a long time and aim high. In the first match with Sato Sayaka, she lost by just 1 point (22-23). Sato Sayaka was a player who has in the past managed to win the likes of Marin and Sindhu before. When she plays on international level, she will meet many opponents like Sayaka Sato who is good in retrieving. That doesn't mean that her attacks are not effective. Her accuracy is good. She just have to learn to play the long game and learn how to change the pace now and then. In the 2nd match with Sato, she tried to go more accurate than accurate - go closer for the lines and lower at the net. That was when she started losing quickly. She needs to develop patience but not to the point her good instinct to attack become too passive.Sometimes, when 2 almost equally good players clashes with each other, it comes down to who is willing to dance with the opponent longer. And i know many players dred the idea of having to dance around the court with a very patient player like Momota. They try to device and train up for "quick kill and stop the dance" skills. It will be interesting to see if they will succeed with their "quick kill skills ..." or will Momota be able to make them dance at a faster pace that it becomes uncomfortable for them to execute their "quick kill skills .." accurately enough. Meanwhile, I have seen Momota with his own "quick kill skills.." before and I am anxious to see how he will use these add-ons.

    Oh no, I am drifting away from topic. I admit I am a incurable Momota's fan.
     
    #2215 Pcyl, Jun 6, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  16. yuon

    yuon Regular Member

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    Shimoda Natsumi was quite unlucky to have met Sato Sayaka in R2. She might have gone further, otherwise, maybe even to the SF with Nidaira Natsuki knocked out early. Sato might not rank very high, considering that she hasn't been playing that many tournaments, but I think her ability is still at the top of the B team. I have my doubt that Shimoda is going to accomplish much more than making the B team this year, though. At 28, she's already into the later stage of her badminton career. Nidaira retired midway through her consolation match so she's likely injured, yet again. Her badminton career is fraught with injuries and looks unlikely to go very far. As for Gunji Riko, unless she's carrying some kind of injury, losing not just R1, but also the consolation match, is just inexcusable. I do have high hope for her, given her early accomplishments, so hopefully this was just a one time thing.

    I did find it interesting that it was Takahashi Asuka, rather than Ohori, who had been playing in the team B tournament in Osaka and the Ranking Circuit.
     
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  17. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    Ohori is being given permission to enter for Team A events this year. She was entered for the Malaysia Open and Singapore Open, the calendar of which clashed with the RC. Hence, she was not entered for this particular domestic tournament. Takahashi, on the other hand, does not have the necessary points to qualify for the big international tournaments; accordingly, she is entered for these lesser events.

    This all works to Takahashi's advantage, I think; she is certainly seeing more action than Ohori, and also joins Team A for training sessions.

    Yep, Sato is a force to be reckoned with. It took Okuhara to eliminate her at last December's AJC. Until her run-in with Okuhara at the SF, Sato had managed to take down Hayashi Moto (Team B 2020), Takahashi Sayaka (Team A), and Kawakami Saena (Team B 2021). She really deserves a place on the Team, and thereby a chance to hone those skills. Without a place on the National Team, unfortunately, it is next to impossible to enter international tournaments, ... and thus impossible maintain one's international rank.
     
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  18. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    The Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2021 (September 28 - October 3) has been cancelled, the ostensible reason being a schedule conflict with the newly re-scheduled Sudirman Cup.
     
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  19. Michael V

    Michael V Regular Member

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    What a depressing turnout this has become… After winning 6 medals including two golds during the 2018 and 2019 WCs, I expected sort of the same result for the Olympics. The only way this could be salvaged is a WS and MD or XD victory but those are uphill battles since the top 2 seeds in those categories are performing up to par. Maybe Okuhara can do it? I don’t know. This is depressing as a fan of the Japanese team.
     
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  20. kurako

    kurako Regular Member

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    As far as Momota is concerned, I think that he realised this was a lost battle from the outset. He will have been aware of his shortcomings after the AJC and AE; and with no international tournaments thereafter, there really was little prospect of regaining his match fitness/skills. Deep down I think that Momota may have been satisfied just by being part of the Olympics. Sure, he mentioned that he was going for gold; but this probably wasn't for himself; he both wanted to please the mass media, and he wanted a token that would serve to show his gratitude to those who have supported him over the past five years. I am not sure how motivated he really was.

    I also believe that there may have been a few misjudgments with regard to training/practice over the last eighteen months, which have probably proved detrimental as far as the entire team is concerned. National training sessions were extremely scarce; most of the players were left to their own devices with their corporate teams (or entirely on their own, as in the case of Nishimoto). Park Joo Bong may have done great things for the team in the past, but he has been totally voiceless over this past year. He has, arguably, been at the helm for too long; I do not think it is going to help Bird Japan that he will stay on until Paris 2024. The whole set-up has become stale.
     
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