World no. 2 Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China annexed the mixed doubles Asian title with a 21, 17, 21-8, win over compatriots Wang Lilyu and Huang Dongping, 21-17, 21-8, in the SMART Badminton Asia Team Championships 2022, Sunday at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Muntinlupa City.
This is the first Asian title for the 2019 World champions after taking the bronzes in 2018 and 2019.
“I’m happy to get the award because it’s the first time that we were in the championship,” said Huang Yaqiong. “The process and the competition itself are difficult. The preparation has been long and arduous and every point was earned. “
With the win, Zheng and Huang Ya Qiong gained 12,000 points for BWF World Rankings, while Wang and Huang Dong Ping received 10,200. Semifinalists Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktaviani and Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino took 8,400 points.
After needing to fend off Wang and Huang in that close first set, the 2022 Tokyo Olympics silver medalists pulled away early in the second with six consecutive points to lead 9-2.
Zheng and Huang’s advantage then ballooned to a double-digit at 15-5 to virtually seal their fate with a first-ever Asian championship.
“The outcome may be different than what we see right now if I didn’t do well in adjusting to the pressure of the game when it was all tied at 16,” said Zheng. “Tomorrow, we will be going to another competition in Thailand. We would need to be strategic in getting rest, practicing, and reviewing our performances to improve.
“This month was so difficult as we were busy and did not have ample rest so we’re maximizing this little bit of time to rest before going back to training,” reflected Zheng.
The tournament is made possible by SMART, MVP Sports Foundation, Li-Ning, Cignal, TV5, One Sports, Robinson’s Land, Premium Megastructure Inc., Philippine Badminton Association, Badminton Asia, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Philippine Sports Commission, and Muntinlupa Mayor Fresnedi and the City of Muntinlupa.