Brian Yang’s post Tokyo Olympics surge continued as he beat No.13 Kanta Tsuneyama to hand Canada an early lead in their Group D tie against Japan at the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020.
Although Canada eventually went down 4-1 to Japan, Yang’s win was further evidence of the rapid strides he has made in recent months. The 19-year-old had stretched world No.4 Chou Tien Chen at the Olympics, won the VICTOR Denmark Masters immediately after, and beat Jonatan Christie at the Sudirman Cup last week.
Yang credited the improvement in his performance to the two-month stint at the Peter Gade Academy in Denmark and a shorter spell with Viktor Axelsen in Dubai.
“I’ve played a couple of good matches against top-ranked players, that started at the Olympics against Chou, and then again in Finland and today as well. As I’m lower ranked, they have a bit more pressure. I think the underdog always has less pressure in these circumstances, and I’m happy to get these wins.
“I’ve been training in Denmark for the last two months, and I also was in Dubai with Viktor, and I’ve experienced different kinds of training styles, with shorter intervals and more explosive footwork and shots. I’ve been trying to simulate that in the training sessions with the Canadian team here and I think it’s been good. I’ve been keeping my fitness up, without dropping, and it’s kind of the key to keep this form.”
Yang said there wasn’t much difference between the training approaches of Gade and Axelsen: “They are similar in terms of shorter intervals compared to the Asian way of training, but with Peter it’s a lot of shorter intervals, one minute or 45 seconds, whereas with Viktor it was longer, sometimes two minutes, sometimes five minutes.”
Japan did not have further problems, and their new combination of Akira Koga/Yuta Watanabe closed it out in the fifth match over Jason Anthony Ho-Shue/Nyl Yakura 21-3 21-12.
In Uber Cup Group B, India beat Spain 3-2 after Saina Nehwal retired after the first game against Clara Azurmendi.
Twenty-year-old Malvika Bansod made light of the difference in ranking and experience against Beatriz Corrales (21-13 21-15); Tanisha Crasto/Rutaparna Panda and Aditi Bhatt then made it 3-1 but India suffered an upset in the fifth match as Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy went down to Clara Azurmendi/Beatriz Corrales 21-18 14-21 21-17.
Other Uber Cup ties on the day were one-sided, with Thailand beating Scotland 5-0 (Group B), Chinese Taipei blanking Egypt 5-0 (Group C), and China achieving an identical result over Malaysia (Group D).
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