• Kyodo

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Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino wrote their names in badminton history on Sunday by becoming the first Japanese mixed doubles champions at the Yonex All England Open.

The duo, ranked 48th in the world, defeated fifth seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China 15-21, 22-20, 21-16 in just over an hour to take the coveted title, earning Japan a new entry in the history of the prestigious tournament first held in 1899.

“I’m happy that we are the first winners of the mixed doubles here for Japan, but we are not going to be satisfied by this result,” Higashino said after the match, according to the tournament website.

“We are determined to come back next year and win again.”

In the women’s doubles final, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota lost to Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen 21-19, 21-18.

Akane Yamaguchi was defeated 22-20, 21-13 in the women’s singles final by defending champion and world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan.

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