2021 Yonex All-England Badminton Championships- With no spectators!

Written by Geoff Hinder

2021 Yonex All-England Badminton Championships- With no spectators!
The 2021 Yonex All-England Championships would be the first time in its 111th history that spectators would not be allowed in the arena. Unfortunately, one Turkish player and the Indonesian team were withdrawn from the Championships after a person traveling on-board their inbound flight tested positive for Covid 19. They all had to self-isolate for 10 days.
Finals being played with no spectators present.
The exciting finals on the Sunday took six hours to complete, without the noise from the thousands of enthusiastic spectators that normally attend the Championships you could hear every shuttle being struck and the players landing on the sprung floor. All this enhanced the atmosphere for the millions of worldwide fans watching on television, it felt like your armchair was by the side of the court. Japan would have all six pairs in the doubles finals, guaranteeing them three titles. Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara added their fourth title when she won her second Yonex All-England woman’s singles title. The men’s singles title was the only trophy not to go to Japan when the young Malaysian Lee Zii Jia beat the reigning champion Viktor Axelsen from Denmark, it took Lee 1 hour and 14 minutes before he could lift the famous Arthur Barron Silver Challenge Trophy.


LEE Zii Jia (Malaysia)   bt.  Viktor AXELSEN (Denmark)  30-29, 20-22, 21-9.                             1hr. 14mins.


Nozomi OKUHARA (Japan)  bt.  Pornpawee CHOCHUWONG (Thailand) 21-12, 21-16.               44mins.


Hiroyuki ENDO & Yuta WATANABE (Japan)  bt. Takeshi KAMURA (Japan) & Keigo SONODA (Japan)  21-15, 17-21, 21-11.                          1hr. 8mins.


Mayu MATSUMOTO & Wakana NAGAHARA (Japan)  bt. Yuki FUKUSHIMA & Sayaka HIROTA (Japan)  21-18, 21-16.                                  56mins.


Yuta WATANABE & Arisa HIGASHINO (Japan)  bt. Yuki KANEKO & Misaki MATSUTOMO (Japan)  21-14, 21-13.                               40mins.

Sixth seed Malaysian Lee Zii Jia reached the final without losing a game, eliminating top seed Kento Momota (Japan) 21-16, 21-19 in the quarter-finals. On the other side of the draw, the reigning champion Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen did not have such an easy passage, as three out of his four matches were hard-fought three-setters. The first game in the final went the full 59 points with Lee winning the deciding point. The second game was an equally tough match with Axelsen winning it 22-20. All was set for a third and final marathon game, but the Dane faded in the second half allowing the 22-year-old Lee Zii Jia to lift the famous Arthur Barron Silver Challenge Men’s Singles Trophy. 
2021 Women’s Singles Champion  Nozomi Okuhara (Japan).

Photos: –    Alan Spink                                                  Action Photography      

Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia) with the Men’s Singles Arthur Barron Silver Challenge Trophy and runner-up Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)

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Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara won her second Yonex All-England title by beating Pornpawee Chochuwong (Thailand). After dropping the first game in both her quarter-final and semi-final victories, 2nd seed Okuhara won the final in straight games against her 6th seed opponent, to reclaim the title she first won on her 21st birthday in 2016.
Women’s Singles – Runner-up – Pornawee Chochuwong (Thailand) and Champion –             Nozomi Okuara (Japan)
Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia)


In the doubles finals all six pairs were from Japan guaranteeing them at least three 2021 Yonex All-England titles.
2021 Yonex All-England Badminton Championships Men’s Doubles. L. to R. Takeshi Kamura (Japan) and Keigo Sonoda (Japan), Yuta Watanabe (Japan) and Hiroyuki Endo.
Yuta Watanabe (Japan) and Hiroyuki Endo (Japan).
Hiroyuki Endo (Japan) and Yuta Watanabe (Japan).
Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota (Japan)

Photos: – Alan Spink – Action Photography

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Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto (Japan)
The women’s doubles final was a repeat of last year’s semi-final, with the defending champions Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota up against the world champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara who this year would win the 2021 Yonex All-England woman’s doubles title 21-18, 21-16.
2021 Yonex All-England Championships Woman’s Doubles L. to R. Sayaka Hirota, Yuki Fukushima (Japan) and Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto (Japan).
Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino (Japan) 2021 Yonex All-England Mixed Doubles Champions. Yuta Watanabe who had already won the men’s doubles title was the first male player in two decades to win two double’s events.
The 2019 Yonex All-England men’s singles champion Kento Momota (Japan) seeded one this year would lose in the quarter-finals to this year’s champion Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia) 21-16, 21-19.
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith (England) lost in the semi-final 21-10, 21-18. to Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino the eventual mixed doubles champions.


Photos: – Alan Spink – Action Photography

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Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino (Japan) right beat Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo (Japan) 21-14, 21-13. in the 2021 Yonex All-England Championships mixed doubles final. 
In the woman’s singles India’s Pusarla V Sindhu, 5th seed loss in the semi-final to Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-17, 21-9.
The English pair of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith played one of their best Championship games in a 14-21, 21-12, 21-14. quarter-final defeat to Japan’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.
For more information on the history of the All-England Badminton Championships go to – History – Events –  ‘The History of the All-England Badminton Championships’ on this website.
Men’s Singles Results

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Men’s Doubles Results

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Mixed Doubles Results

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Women’s  Singles Results

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Women’s Doubles Results

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1899 – 2024
125th Anniversary Championships


Tuesday 12 March to Sunday 17 March 2024

Utilita Arena, Birmingham.

For more information:- www.allenglandbadminton.com
Visitors are welcome to look around the Museum unescorted at any time – the National Badminton Centre is normally open 9am to 8pm every day.
National Badminton Museum, National Badminton Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge,


National Badminton Centre 

Lodge Hotel

For more information and to book a room go to: – Badminton England website – https://www.badmintonengland.co.uk  –  National Badminton Centre  – National Badminton Centre Hotel.


If you have any badminton memorabilia, archive material, or any other items and would like to donate them to the National Badminton Museum please contact us at: –
Thank you to all the ‘Friends of the Museum’ and people who have made donations to the National Badminton Museum, your support enables us to purchase extremely rare badminton artefacts for the National Collection as they become available.

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