Songphon and Kulchala win Japan title for Thailand
Thailand won only its second title in the history of the Japan Open badminton championship on Sunday when Songphon Anugritayawon and Kulchala Voravichitchaikul claimed the mixed doubles title.
The unseeded pair defeated sixth-seeded Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark 13-21, 21-16, 22-20 in the final.
In 2005, Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam became one of the most successful pairs from Thailand after they also won the tournament's mixed doubles title.
"I'm very happy, because this is the first time we won a title outside our country," said Songphon, 25.
"I still feel excited. We've reached the semi-finals and final, but we never became champions before, other than at the Thailand Open (in July)," said Kulchala, 24.
The pair lost the first game rather easily on Sunday, but their coach's advice to "use more skills" helped them to take the next two.
"Both teams made some mistakes and it was very close in the last two games. We thought about nothing but to fight point for point and finally we won the match," said Songphon.
Songphon added that they would try to follow in the footsteps of Sudket and Saralee and said: "Hopefully, we can win more titles after this victory."
Their next events are the Hong Kong Open and the China Open in November.