Okuhara Nozomi beat Olympic badminton champion Carolina Marin to claim the Denmark Open title on Sunday .
Japan’s 2017 world champion won when the two met in last year’s semi-finals, and she was victorious again in Odense 21-19, 21-17.
Okuhara had lost her previous seven finals – including at the 2019 Denmark Open to Tai Tzu Ying – but was too strong for the Spaniard as she secured her first tournament victory since the 2018 Hong Kong Open.
With reigning world champion PV Sindhu opting to sit out the event, two of her biggest rivals made it through to the final.
There was little to choose between the pair in a high-quality encounter with Okuhara showing great defence in the first game.
They were locked at 18-18 before Marin missed what should have been an easy put-away with her opponent scrambling.
A superb smash down the line set up three game points, and the Olympic bronze medallist converted at the second attempt before bowing to the crowd.
The second game was tight until the midway stage when the 25-year-old Nagano native established a three-point lead.
She managed to stay clear of Rio 2016 gold medallist Marin, securing victory with an emphatic smash to win on her third match point.
“I’m happy! Long time no see for a title! Compared to other opponents, Marin is faster and has a harder attack. I was focussed on defence and footwork, and my feet moved very well today,” Okuhara said after the match.