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Badminton: 2 Japanese pairs reach doubles semis at world championships

Keigo Sonoda (back) and Takeshi Kamura (Kyodo)

NANJING, China (Kyodo) -- Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda booked a spot in the men's doubles semifinals at badminton's world championships on Friday, while Japanese compatriots Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara reached the women's doubles final four.

Kamura and Sonoda, the fifth seeds, defeated the top-seeded Indonesian duo of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo 21-19, 21-18 to clinch a world championships medal for the second straight year.

Matsumoto and Nagahara, the 11th seeds, knocked off the seventh seeds, Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand, 21-12, 22-20.

In the semifinals, the Japanese women will face Indonesian fifth seeds, Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, who defeated the top-seeded pair, Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China, in straight games.

"It still hasn't sunk in that we've won a medal, but it's a weight off my shoulders," Nagahara said.

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