Badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota leaves Malaysia, bound for Japan

Japanese badminton player Kento Momota arrives at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as he leaves for Tokyo, after he was released from hospital following an injury in a vehicle collision on Monday, in Sepang, January 15, 2020. — Reuters pic
Japanese badminton player Kento Momota arrives at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as he leaves for Tokyo, after he was released from hospital following an injury in a vehicle collision on Monday, in Sepang, January 15, 2020. — Reuters pic

SEPANG, Jan 15 — The world’s top shuttler Kento Momota and two Japanese badminton officials, who were injured in a crash in Serdang near here on Monday, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this morning to return to Japan.

Momota and the two officials were received by Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria when they arrived at KLIA at about 8.10am in three separate vehicles.

The three, who were wearing masks, were ferried on a buggy under tight security in the departure hall of the airport.

They were then taken to the VVIP room to wait for their flight, which was scheduled to depart for Japan at about 9.40am.

After being discharged from the Putrajaya Hospital last night, Momota and the two officials stayed at a hotel near KLIA.

A van carrying Momota and three badminton officials crashed into the back of a lorry at 4.40am on Monday at KM13.7 of the Maju Expressway (MEX) while on the way to KLIA.

The van driver, B. Nageswarau, 24, died on the spot.

Apart from Momota, the other three injured were Japanese assistant coach Yu Hirayama, 35, and physiotherapist Morimoto Akifumi, 42, and Hawkeye system operator William Thomas, 30.

Momota won the Malaysia Masters men’s singles title by beating former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the final at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Norza said Momota was recovering well from his injuries and would be seeking further treatment in Japan.

“Momota was keen on going back as soon as possible. I reckon the Japan BA will follow up with their medical treatment back home,” he told reporters at KLIA.

Momota suffered multiple laceration wounds on the face and right maxillary sinus and nasal bone fracture.

Mohamad Norza advised the people not to speculate on the crash and instead to let the police and fire and rescue department complete their investigations.

He expressed his gratitude for the help and cooperation extended by various parties following the fatal crash. — Bernama

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