Badminton: Momota becomes first Japanese to clinch men's singles title

Aug 06, 2018, 09:39 IST | AFP

Momota's career descended into controversy in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino, denying him a place at the Rio Olympics

Badminton: Momota becomes first Japanese to clinch men's singles title
Japan's Kento Momota with his gold medal after beating China's Shi Yuqi in the World Championships final yesterday. Pic/AP, PTI

Kento Momota dedicated his title yesterday to those who stuck by him when a gambling scandal threatened to wreck the history-maker's budding career. The explosive shuttler, 23, convincingly defeated China's highly promising Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13 in Nanjing, becoming the first Japanese man to win the World Championships.

Momota's career descended into controversy in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino, denying him a place at the Rio Olympics. Momota, number two in the world at the time, has been working his way back to the top ever since and was the pre-tournament favourite in Nanjing.

After dismissing Shi, Momota was coy when talking about his temporary absence from the sport, but said after a pause: "There was a time when I was away. But I got a lot of help and support from many people, this title is a good reward for them."

Momota, now seventh in the rankings, said he wanted to emulate greats Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, two super stars who have reigned over badminton for well over a decade. Lee missed the tournament because of illness and Lin was well beaten by Shi in the third round. "They have had long and successful careers and like them, I want to give the audience enjoyment," said Momota, whose championship- winning point was a huge anti-climax — the shuttlecock hitting the top of the net before falling in his favour.

Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge's exotic Maldivian vacation

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK