• Kyodo News


Noriyasu Hirata and Miyuki Maeda defeated Shintaro Ikeda and Reiko Shiota in the mixed doubles final of the national badminton championships Sunday for the second consecutive year.

Hirata and Maeda came from a set down to win 18-21, 27-25, 21-19 against the popular pair at Yoyogi National Gymnasium Annex in Tokyo.

It was also the sixth consecutive mixed doubles title for Maeda, who had won four in a row between 2005 and 2008 with Keita Masuda.

“I’ve always had excellent doubles partners, so I owe my doubles titles to my partners,” said the 25-year-old Maeda.

Earlier Sunday, Maeda and Hirata won the women’s and men’s doubles titles, teaming up with Satoko Suetsuna and Hirokatsu Hashimoto, respectively.

Asian Games bronze medalist Eriko Hirose won her third straight and fifth overall national singles title with a comfortable 21-16, 21-14 victory over Kaori Imabeppu in the final.

Kenichi Tago also pulled off a “three-peat” by beating Sho Sasaki 21-9, 21-19 in the men’s final.

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