Akane Yamaguchi is a Japanese woman badminton player born on 6th June 1997. She hails from Katsuyama city of Fukui in Japan. She is an erstwhile World No.1 and currently ranks number 6 in the BWF women’s rankings.
Akane Yamaguchi comes from a humble family residing in Katsuyama of Fukui. She was introduced to badminton at a very young age by her brothers who were badminton players.
She joined the local badminton academy, where she received her first badminton training. At the academy, she used to learn the sport by observing the way coaches and players play. She would often take up the challenge against older and better players in order to improve her game. Akane won her first badminton title while studying in primary class.
Rise to Glory:
Akane Yamaguchi's first career breakthrough came in 2010 when became the National Junior Champion. In 2012, at the age of 15, she made her senior international debut at Osaka International and also reached the final of the tournament. In 2013, Akane won two Bronze medals in Women’s Singles and Women’s Team at the East Asian Games.
At the 2013 World Junior Badminton Championships, Akane won the Gold medal in Girls’ Singles. That year, she won the Bronze medal at the Asian Junior Badminton Championships. The following year, Akane became the Asian Junior Champion and also defended her World Junior title.
Akane emerged as National Champion thrice in 2014, 2017, and 2018 at the Japanese National Badminton Championships. She was part of the Japanese mixed team that won two Silver medals (2015 and 2019) and a Bronze (2017) at the Sudirman Cup. In 2017, Akane grabbed the Gold medal with her national team at the Asian Mixed Team Badminton Championships.
Akane was part of the national women’s team that won two Gold medals in 2018 and 2020 at the Asian Team Badminton Championships.
Akane Yamaguchi's international breakthrough came in 2012 when she won the Silver medal in Girls’ Singles, followed by another Silver medal in Mixed Team at the World Junior Badminton Championships. That year, she won the Gold medal in the Mixed Team at the Asian Junior Badminton Championships.
In 2013, she won her first Superseries title at the Japan Open, and she went on to bag 4 Superseries titles, including Dubai World Superseries Finals in 2017.
Akane and her Japanese Women’s Team won a Gold (2018), Silver (2016), and Bronze (2014) at the Uber Cup. In 2016, Akane made her Olympics debut at the Rio Olympics and reached the quarterfinals. The following year, she won the Silver medal at the Asian Badminton Championships.
In 2018, Akane settled for a Bronze medal after losing to the eventual Silver-Medalist PV Sindhu at the World Badminton Championships. That year, she won her World Tour title at the German Open. Subsequently, Akane bagged 5 World Tour titles and ended up as runner-up twice. In 2019, she was crowned as Asian Champion at the Asian Badminton Championships.
Akane Yamaguchi qualified for her second Olympics at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is seeded No.5 in the Women’s Singles.