Japan struck double gold medals in soft tennis of the Hangzhou Asian Games following victories over Chinese Taipei in the men’s and women’s team finals here on Wednesday.
The opening match set the tone for what was to follow. Noa Takahashi and Emina Watanabe let a 4-2 lead slip but recovered in time to edge a nail-biting doubles match 5-4 against Kuo Chien-chi and Lo Shu-ting of Chinese Taipei.
However, the experienced Cheng Chu-ling, a mixed doubles gold medallist at the 2018 Asian Games, hit back to level the final at one match apiece, defeating Kurumi Onoue of Japan 4-2 in their singles clash.
It looked set to be Chinese Taipei’s day when Huang Shih-yuan and Hsu Chiao-ying swiftly took a 3-0 lead against Tomomi Shimuta and Haruka Kubo in the decisive doubles match. But Huang and Hsu were unable to hold on as the Japanese pair rallied, winning five straight games to clinch gold.
“Two of my golds have been with the women’s team. I have got a lot of my power from my teammates. That’s perhaps the secret to how I was able to win again this time,” said Takahashi.
Chang Yu-sung of Chinese Taipei hits a return in the soft tennis men’s team final against Chinese Taipei. (Xinhua/Wan Xiang)
In the afternoon, Japan went on to win the men’s team gold at the expense of Chinese Taipei as well. Takafumi Uchimoto and Sora Hirooka of Japan won the opening doubles over Yu Kai-wen and Lin Wei-chieh 5-3, before Toshiki Uematsu sealed the match by beating Chang Yu-sung 4-1 in the singles.
“I think I can give myself the perfect score of 100 for winning the gold medal. But in terms of my performance, I was not in good condition,” said Uematsu.
“I could not go back to the past so I chose each shot very carefully, and adjusted them one by one. I think that is how I won.”
China lost to Chinese Taipei 2-0 in women’s team semifinal earlier.
Source : XinHua