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In Focus: Japanese Shuttler Akane Yamaguchi
In the high-octane world of badminton, few players embody sheer determination and raw talent like Akane Yamaguchi. With her relentless spirit and dynamic playing style, this fiery Japanese player has carved out a name for herself in the sport.
Let's dive into the story of Akane Yamaguchi and understand her tremendous impact on badminton as a sport.
1. Women's Singles World Rank: 2
2. Women's Singles World Tour Rank: 2
3. Two-time World Champion: 2021 and 2022
4. Most Promising Player of the Year by the Badminton World Federation in 2013 and 2014.
5. Female Player of the Year 2022
1. Birth Date: 6th June 1997 (Age: 26 years)
2. Country: Japan
3. Height: 1.56m (5 ft. 1.5 inches)
4. Handedness: Right
5. Coach: Harutoshi Kobayashi
6. Racket: Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ
7. Shoes: Yonex Power Cushion 65Z
Yamaguchi's Commendable Wins in 2023
Akane Yamaguchi is a player of unabated passion and courage. It is visible from her most recent wins.
1. Total Energies BWF World Championships 2023 (Copenhagen, Denmark):
In the recently concluded World Championships, Akane won the bronze after a close game against Spain’s Carolina Marin.
2. Korea Open 2023 ( Yeosu, Korea):
Akane Yamaguchi was placed third in the Korea Open after losing to Taiwanese shuttler Tai Tzu Ying in two straight sets: 17-21 and 19-21
3. Yonex Canada Open (Calgary, Canada):
Held from 4-9 July, the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 Canada Open was an exciting tournament for Akane. She won the gold by defeating Thai player Ratchanok Intanon.
4. KFF Singapore Open 2023 (Singapore, Singapore):
She won the silver in the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament of the Singapore Open.
6. Perodua Malaysia Masters 2023 by Daihatsu (Kualampur, Malaysia):
Played from 23-28 May, Akane won the tournament by defeating Indonesian player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in a one-sided match.
7. Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2023 (Birmingham, England):
Yamaguchi secured third position by losing the semis to Chinese player Chen Yu Fei.
8. Yonex German Open 2023 (Mulheim, Germany):
On 12th March 2023, Akane won the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 German Open in two straights against Korean shuttler An Se-young.
9. Yonex Sunrise India Open 2023 (New Delhi, India):
In an epic battle at the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament, she competed against An Se-young. Akane won the silver medal.
10. Petronas Malaysia Open 2023 (Kualampur, Malaysia):
She won the Malaysia Open by defeating An Se-young in a nail-biting final match.
Akane: A Young Prodigy with Remarkable Talent
When she held a badminton racquet at three, Akane Yamaguchi knew this was her life. She began her training at just five years old, and through her dedication and skill, she joined the Japanese national team in 2010 and competed professionally for the first time at fifteen years. She was the youngest player to achieve this feat.
In 2012, she competed in several international events and won the bronze at the Asian Junior Championships and the silver at the World Junior Championships.
In 2013, she won the singles title at the Yonex Open in Japan and created history by being the youngest player to have won the tournament! Additionally, she was placed on the podium consistently due to her incredible performances in the Osaka International and New Zealand Open. Her performance continued to be impressive in 2014 as well, thus making her the Most Promising Player for 2013 and 2014.
In 2015, she won silver at the Japan Open and became the champion at the Bitburger Open in Germany. 2016 was incredible because she won her second Super Series title at the Korea Open. The same year, she won the Denmark Open by defeating Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin and No. 2 seed Tai Tzu-Ying.
She followed a similar performance in 2017 by being a key player in the Japanese team winning the Asian Mixed-Team Championships. She won a silver at the French Open and a gold at the China Open. She also won the women's singles championship in the Super Series Finals and became the highest-paid player of the year.
In April 2018, 20-year-old Yamaguchi secured the World No. 1 rankings. Since then, she has won several medals and continued to make Japan proud of her achievements.
If you consider the recent years, she won the 2022 All England Open for the first time. She got a silver at the Asian Badminton Championships in April. She also won the Tokyo World Badminton Championships, becoming world champion for the second year. She won the BWF World Tour over Tai Tzu-Ying! She was also the first Japanese player in women's singles to defend her world championships successfully. Appreciating her achievements, the BWF named her the Female Player of the Year 2022.
From her debut as a teenage badminton player to a world-renowned athlete, Yamaguchi has managed to exceed all expectations and prove her mettle as the top player in the game.
Akane Yamaguchi's Playing Style:
Fearless, Quick and Unpredictable
Akane is a two-time World Champion, and it manifests in her unique playing style and relentless stamina! She is a very hard player to beat because she is focused and fiercely competitive. She can outmaneuver her opponents with devastating smashes and delivers excellent defensive skills to make her one of the top players in the game today.
She may not possess the stature of other athletes, but her agility and speed ensure that her opponent's shots are within her reach. Staying true to the Japanese tradition of returning the shuttlecocks, she keeps on hitting them back with ease.
Akane is one player who will ensure quick returns and attack at opportune moments simultaneously. Her play is often unpredictable thus, making her even more intimidating.
Yamaguchi's Racket and Other Badminton Equipment
With an unconventional and unpredictable playing style, she needs a reliable racket to play strong smashes. It should also have the ability to ensure faster returns. Her racket, the Yonex Astrox 100 ZZ, fulfills her expectations completely.
Grit and Passion!
Her lifelong dedication to badminton and ensuing success in the badminton world displays that anything is possible if you work hard. Akane Yamaguchi's journey is an ode to the warrior within, and she's proving that in badminton, as in life, it's not about the size but the fire in your game. She is a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes worldwide.