Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Ismail, left, speaks to media after visiting Japanese badminton player Kento Momota who was injured in a car accident, at a hospital in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Tuesday, Photo: AP/Vincent Thian

Injured badminton star Momota to return to Japan on Wed


World No. 1 men's badminton player Kento Momota, who was injured in a fatal crash in Malaysia, will return to Japan on Wednesday along with two members of his support team who were also involved in the accident, the Nippon Badminton Association said Tuesday.

Kinji Zeniya, secretary general of the association, told reporters Momota will skip next month's Asia Team Championships and aim to return to action at the All England Open, which gets under way March 11 in Birmingham.

The 25-year-old Momota was heading to Kuala Lumpur International Airport with three others early Monday morning when their van collided into the rear of a 30-ton lorry, killing the Malaysian driver of the van.

The van was carrying Momota, Japanese coach Yu Hirayama, Japanese trainer Akifumi Morimoto and William Thomas, a British technical adviser for the Badminton World Federation.

The accident occurred just hours after Momota won the Malaysia Masters men's singles.

Siv Azhar Merican Abdullah, a department director at Putrajaya Hospital on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, told reporters Tuesday that Momota suffered a slight nasal bone fracture. He also sustained multiple laceration wounds to his face.

According to Azhar, Momota will be able to return to practice in roughly a month, and the injuries will not affect his ability to play over the longer term.

"I panicked for a while when I first heard the news," Zeniya said.

"The Tokyo Olympics are important, but I'm really glad none of the three suffered life-threatening injuries," he said.

In a statement late Monday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia said Momota and the others were "recovering well" at a hospital, but they were being kept under close observation on the advice of doctors.

Momota, who missed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics due to a suspension for illegal gambling, won 11 international meets last year and is hoping to become Japan's first Olympic badminton gold medalist in men's singles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.


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Wishing for a speedy recovery, Momota is at his peak and has many more tournaments to win.

5 ( +5 / -0 )


The driver was killed. Did you not read the article?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The driver was killed. Did you not read the article?

apologies. Missed that part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shocking that the Olympics was even mentioned. There was a fatality! But hardly surprising - Japan is uniquely nuts about the 5 ring circus.

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Hoping Kento can fully recover. Must be pretty shocked.

And also for the others to recover soon.

Was put off by the news on nhk tonight. The top badminton official ( I think) instead of wishing all those injured well and offering condolences to the family of the deceased driver, instead said directly to the effect "We need him healthy for the olympics".

Priorities I guess.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

World No. 1 men's badminton player Kento Momota, who was injured in a fatal crash in Malaysia, 


anyway wishing the hero speedy recovery.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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