Nothing more satisfying for Momota than being crowned at home


Champions: Japan’s Kento Momota and Spain’s Carolina Marin emerged men’s and women’s singles winners in the Japan Open badminton tournament yesterday. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: A determined Kento Momota restored his battered pride at home by becoming his nation’s first-ever men’s singles badminton champion in the Japan Open in Tokyo.

And the 24-year-old ended his country’s 41-year wait in style by disposing of Khosit Phetpradab 21-14, 21-11 in a 48-minute one-sided final to the delight of his home fans.

Japan has never won the men’s singles title since the tournament’s inception in 1977.

It was indeed a dream run for Momota at his home tournament – just two years after he became the national embarrassment following a gambling issue that saw him banned for one year, just before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Instead of giving up, Momota vowed to bounce back strongly and restore the fans’ confidence in him. He served his one-year ban and went on to win the world title this year in Nanjing, China, but nothing can beat the feeling of being honoured in his own backyard yesterday.

The win also made up for his disappointment of losing at the Asian Games in Indonesia recently.

The Japan Open was extra special too for world No. 3 Momota as he defeated his idol and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China for the first time in their quarter-final clash.

With the win over Lin Dan, Momota has beaten every other top player in the world and looks set to become the world No. 1 and rule the badminton world for a long time.

Meanwhile, Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota made it a great day for Japan when they upset Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan of China 21-15, 21-12 for the women’s doubles title.

Japan was also hoping for their third title but Nozomi Okuhara went down fighting 19-21, 21-17, 11-21 to reigning champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the women’s singles final.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Sport , Badminton , Japan Open , Kenta Momota

   

Next In Badminton

Razif’s son Fazriq gets new partner to pursue doubles glory
It’s double the workload for Meng Yean
Momota can’t afford below-par display in Sudirman Cup
Mee Fen hopes Jin Wei will rethink about her decision to quit
Time is ripe for Nurshuhaini to be made a senior
Seu Bock: Jin Wei still achieved great feats despite ailment
Plus factor for Pearly-Thinaah ahead of major tournaments
In-form Liek Hou’s bid to reclaim world title on hold
Wong: We’ve done everything to persuade shuttler to stay
Did Sudirman Cup snub drive Jin Wei to call it quits?

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers