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Badminton: Nagahara, Matsumoto set up all-Japanese final at worlds

Wakana Nagahara (R) and Mayu Matsumoto (Kyodo)

NANJING, China (Kyodo) -- Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto beat an Indonesian pair in straight games on Saturday to set up an all-Japanese women's doubles final at the badminton world championships.

Nagahara and Matsumoto, each 22-year-old world championship debutants, will face last year's runners-up, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota, on Sunday.

The 11th-seeded pair defeated fifth seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 21-12, 23-21 in 52 minutes in their first career faceoff to book a spot in the all-Japanese world title match.

"I always get stiff when I play a Japanese pair," Matsumoto said. "But I just want to us to play like we always do without focusing on the fact that our opponents are Japanese."

Fukushima and Hirota, the second seeds, beat Japanese compatriots Koharu Yonemoto and Shiho Tanaka 21-19, 21-15 in Saturday's other semifinal.

The winners of Sunday's final will win Japan's first gold medal in the event since Etsuko Toganoo and Emiko Ueno claimed the title at the inaugural world championships in 1977.

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