Nova Scotia Journal

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Momota, a badminton star, has won the first post-crash international trophy

Momota, a badminton star

Key Takeaways:

  • On Sunday, world champion Kento Momota defeated Anders Antonsen in the final of the Indonesia Masters, his first win in an international tournament since being seriously injured in a car accident last year.
  • Aside from Momota’s victory, the Japanese team took home two other trophies in the Sunday finals.

Next the resort island of Bali, where the tournament was conducted as the first of three back-to-back competitions concluding in the season-ending World Tour Finals, Momota thrashed the Danish third seed 21-17, 21-11.

The first final round was close, but the Japanese ace built a strong defense as Antonsen repeatedly made unforced errors. Momota, the world’s best badminton player with a record 11 titles in 2019, was nearly forced to retire after a car accident in January last year left him with career-threatening injuries.

World champion Kento Momota

In the accident, he broke his eye socket. He crashed out in the group stage of his Olympic debut in Tokyo this year, blaming his own “weakness.” After Olympic gold medalist Viktor Axelsen was knocked out in the round of 16 on Thursday, Momota had a relatively easy draw in Bali.

In addition, China is not sending any players to any Bali tournaments, so Olympic silver medalist Chen Long will be missing.

Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi defeated home favorites and top-ranked duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, 21-11, 17-21, 21-19, in the men’s doubles.

“We are glad to have defeated the world’s best players,” Hoki said. “It boosts our confidence.” Badminton World Tour events in Indonesia are typically held in Jakarta, but organizers chose Bali, which has been severely impacted by the loss of visitors due to the pandemic. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournaments are held without spectators and in a virus-free bubble.

Some disgruntled fans in badminton-crazed Indonesia have sent flowers and dolls to the bio-secure hotel.

Source: TOI news

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