Japanese star’s Olympic vision blurred as eye op rules him out for three months


  • Badminton
  • Sunday, 09 Feb 2020

PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Kento Momota’s (pic) Olympics gold medal bid is in doubt again – barely a week after he resumed training last Monday.

The two-time world champion had trouble with his vision during training and went for an eye surgery yesterday.

The surgery in Tokyo was to fix an orbital floor fracture on his right eye. The fracture had affected the muscles and nerves around his eye and prevented it from moving properly and feeling normal.

Media in Japan reported that Momota could only train for a day before he complained of the discomfort and a medical check-up on Friday identified a fracture in the bottom of his right eye socket.

The doctor has ruled him out for three months and will not be able to defend the All-England title next month. It’s also unsure whether he will be in top form ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo from July 25-Aug 9.

Momota did not go through any surgery in Kuala Lumpur after he was declared stable following light injuries sustained during a fatal road accident after winning the Malaysian Masters last month.

Japan are counting on the talented Momota to accomplish their 30-gold medal target at their home Olympics.

The three-month break will not prevent Momota from qualifying for the Olympics.

He is virtually assured as he has already racked up enough points in the first eight months of the one-year qualification period but months of not seeing competitive actions could hamper his preparations for the Games.

Momota may return for the Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark from May 16-24.

Head coach Park Joo-bong had previously played down the importance of the Thomas Cup, which Japan last won in 2014, and made it clear that winning the Olympic gold tops Japan BA’s agenda this year.
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