BUKIT JALIL: A fantastic showing by the men’s doubles shuttlers at the Korean Open last week, has raised Japan’s hope of putting in another strong challenge to the more fancied teams in the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May.
Last week, their world No. 6 Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa went down fighting 20-22, 20-22 to eventual champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the semi-finals.
Their younger compatriots Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda, the world No. 15th, dumped second seeds Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang of South Korea in the opening round.
National coach Keita Masuda believes they have enough depth to challenge all the teams, including Malaysia at the Finals.
“Our senior and junior doubles players did well at the Korean Open and that augurs well ahead of the world team competition. We have strong men’s singles and doubles this time,” he said.