Badminton no.1 Momota faces Olympic champ in semis showdown

Kento Momota of Japan hits a return against Son Wan-ho of South Korea during their men’s singles quarter-final match at the China Open 2018 in Fuzhou, November 9, 2018. — AFP pic
Kento Momota of Japan hits a return against Son Wan-ho of South Korea during their men’s singles quarter-final match at the China Open 2018 in Fuzhou, November 9, 2018. — AFP pic

SHANGHAI, Nov 9 — World champion Kento Momota of Japan will be intent on revenge when he plays China’s Olympic title-holder Chen Long in a mouthwatering semi-final at the Fuzhou China Open tomorrow.

Top seed and world number one Momota defeated South Korea’s Son Wan-ho 21-17, 21-14 in their quarter-final today while Chen was similarly emphatic against unseeded Dane Anders Antonsen, winning 21-18, 21-16.

The other last-four clash in the men’s draw in Fuzhou will be between second seed Shi Yuqi of China and Taiwan’s fourth seed Chou Tien-chen.

The 24-year-old Momota is favourite to win the tournament and will have the whiff of revenge in his nostrils when he faces Chen, 29, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

At the French Open last month, a resurgent Chen beat Momota on the way to winning the title and the Japanese star will be determined not to let that happen again.

An explosive Momota has been in scorching form this year, winning the world championships in August, beating Chen in the final of the Badminton Asia Championships and winning three events on the World Tour.

In the women’s semi-finals, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara plays home hope He Bingjiao and another Chinese, Chen Yufei, takes on reigning Olympic and three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain. — AFP

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