Badminton star Momota announces return to competition nearly a year after car crash in Malaysia

Japan’s Kento Momota poses for a picture after winning the 2020 Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur January 12, 2020. — Bernama pic
Japan’s Kento Momota poses for a picture after winning the 2020 Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur January 12, 2020. — Bernama pic

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TOKYO, Dec 9 — Japan’s badminton world number one Kento Momota today announced his long-awaited return to competition, nearly a year after suffering serious injuries in a car crash, as he begins his bid for home glory at the Tokyo Olympics.

Momota will compete at the All-Japan national championships in Tokyo in late December before playing in the Thailand Open early in January, following a difficult year in which he feared his career might be over after fracturing his eye socket in the accident.

“It’s been almost a year since my last international tournament,” said Momota, who was hurt in January when the vehicle taking him to Kuala Lumpur airport — just hours after he won the Malaysia Masters — was involved in an accident that killed his driver.

“First, I have the All-Japan championships and I want to concentrate on that, but I’m really looking forward to playing against the best international players.

“I’m nervous but I’m really looking forward to it.” — AFP

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