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Bad boy Tago axed from Japan national team


Kenichi Tago (front) and Kento Momota in a training session during the Malaysian Open this year. – filepic

Kenichi Tago (front) and Kento Momota in a training session during the Malaysian Open this year. – filepic

ODENSE: Shuttler Kenichi Tago has been booted out of Japan’s national team because of indiscipline.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but we had to do it because we did not want his action to influence others in the national team,” said head coach Park Joo-bong, who added that Tago was dropped after the Japan Open last month.

“Without him, our strength in men’s singles will be diluted, but we had no choice because he broke the national camp rules several times.”

It is learnt that Tago did not report for centralised training and preferred more personal attention.

The axing must have affected Tago judging by his dismal first qualifying round loss – 21-11, 17-21, 16-21 – to Denmark’s Kim Bruun at the Denmark Open on Tuesday.

Joo-bong believes that the axing of Tago would keep others in check.

“If this can happen to Tago, it can happen to anyone in the national team,” he said.

Without Tago, it will be up to Kento Momota to keep Japan’s flag flying in men’s singles at the Rio Olympic Games next year.

   

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