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HomeSportBadminton former world number one Kento Momota announces retirement

Badminton former world number one Kento Momota announces retirement


Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix via REUTERS
Thomas Cup – Aarhus, Denmark – October 14, 2021 Japan’s Kento Momota celebrates after winning his Claus competition.

Japanese two-time world champion Kento Momota said on Thursday he will retire from badminton after the former world number one failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris.

Momota won the world championships in 2018 and 2019 but struggled to return to top form after he was injured in a fatal car crash in Malaysia in early 2020 when the van he was driving collided with a truck.

Momota was left with double vision and had to undergo surgery to repair a broken eye socket after the crash, which killed the van driver.

The 29-year-old is ranked 52nd in the world, making him the seventh highest-ranked Japanese man. Only the two best players from one country can qualify for the Games.

“I have realized that I can no longer go back to the point where I want to become number 1 in the world again. I have had a very satisfying career playing for the national team,” Momota told reporters.

Momota made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, where he was eliminated early. He missed the Rio Games in 2016 after being banned for gambling.

Momota’s final competition is the Thomas & Uber Cup from April 27 to May 5 in Chengdu, China.

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