Olympics: Japan defeat Denmark to win women's doubles badminton gold

Japan's Misaki Matsutomo (left) and Ayaka Takahashi return against Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.
Japan's Misaki Matsutomo (left) and Ayaka Takahashi return against Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (REUTERS) - Japan's Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi defeated Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl to claim the women's doubles gold medal at the Olympics on Thursday (Aug 18) and secure their nation's first ever badminton title.

The top-ranked Japanese had to fight for every point against the determined Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl and dug themselves out of a huge hole to win an 18-21 21-9 21-19 thriller at the Riocentro.

Trailing 19-16 in the final minutes, Matsutomo and Takahashi won five successive points to crush Denmark's hopes of a first badminton title in 20 years.

Matsutomo and Takahashi went one better than compatriots Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa who won the silver in the event at London.