Japan's women defeat Thailand 3-0 in Uber Cup final

Sayaka Hirota, left, and Yuki Fukushima of Japan return the shuttlecock to Jongkolphan Kittitharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand during their Uber Cup final badminton match at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Sayaka Hirota, left, and Yuki Fukushima of Japan celebrate after wining the point against Jongkolphan Kittitharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand during their Uber Cup final badminton match at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Japanese team members listens to the national anthem after winning Uber Cup final badminton match at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

NONTHABURI, Thailand — Japan lived up to its top-seeding by outclassing Thailand 3-0 in the women's Uber Cup final on Saturday to claim a sixth victory in the badminton tournament.

Akane Yamaguchi toppled Ratchanok Intanon 21-15 21-19 before Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota downed Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Puttita Supajirakul 21-18 21-12 in the doubles.

World champion Nozomi Okuhara then breezed past Nitchaon Jindapol 21-12 21-9.

"I was concerned about the support from the home fans but my players proved they were really focused and determined to win," Japan coach Park Joo Bong said.

Thailand coach Rexy Mainaky saluted the host team, which was appearing in its first final following a stunning 3-2 win over defending champion China on Friday.

"I'm so proud of my players as they have never come this far in the Uber Cup," he said.

Japan's men meet China in the Thomas Cup final on Sunday.

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