Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai’s astonishing year yielded its biggest prize yet, as they became the first Thai pair to win the World Championships.
Japan too achieved a first world title in men’s doubles, with Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi improving on their silver medal finish from the 2019 edition of the World Championships. The only previous winner to return atop the podium was the women’s doubles pair Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, who repeated their 2017 title-winning performance.
World No.1 mixed doubles duo Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai’s victory over Japan’s Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino made it the eighth title for the pair in nine finals this year, and came at the end of a four-title streak.
Despite the busy season they’ve had, the Thais showed no sign of fatigue, while the Japanese, unable to meet the pace with Watanabe having hurt his back, could never pose much of a challenge.
“I couldn’t move as quickly as I usually do because of the back problem, so maybe that did have an influence on the outcome of the match,” said Watanabe.
The Thais, for their part, celebrated a successful year which saw them sweep the Asian Leg in Bangkok and the Bali Leg in Indonesia besides the Hylo Open.
“We are very happy with this year, and thankful to our fans,” said Taerattanachai. “We have played so many events; the key was to recover quickly after every match and get sufficient rest. Today we were able to keep up the attack throughout the match.
“We just talked a lot with each other before and during the match. We had to maintain our mental and physical level. Our target was to make the semifinals of every tournament.
We were tired after Bali but tried to get as much rest as possible.”
♦Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai became the first Thai pair to win a doubles world title with their 21-13 21-14 result over Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino.
♦Japan won their first men’s doubles world title through Kobayashi/Hoki’s 21-12 21-18 result over He Ji Ting/Tan Qiang in 38 minutes.
“We are thrilled with our victory,” said Hoki. “We just had to keep a high pace, and the key was in dominating the serve-return situations.”
♦After going two editions without gold, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan returned China to women’s doubles supremacy beating Lee Sohee/Shin Seungchan 21-16 21-17.
“We wanted to do well here as we were well prepared and we had set high goals for ourselves. We learnt a lot from our losses at our previous World Championships; this is the result from all the learnings in matches that we lost,” said Jia Yi Fan.