Badminton: Momota to defend Singapore Open title

Japan's Kento Momota will be looking to defend his title at the OUE Singapore Open on April 12-17.
Japan's Kento Momota will be looking to defend his title at the OUE Singapore Open on April 12-17. PHOTO: AFP

Japanese world No. 3 shuttler Kento Momota will return to defend his crown at the OUE Singapore Open next month.

The Republic holds a significant memory for the 21-year-old left-hander, who became the first player from Japan to win a Superseries men's singles title last year.

That victory also made Momota the youngest Superseries champion at 20, and he has since captured two more titles, the Indonesia Open and the season-ending Superseries Finals.

"Last year's Singapore Open was a turning point in my career and I am looking forward to coming back to defend my title," said Momota.

The Japanese will join a star-studded line-up at the April 12-17 event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Nine of the world's top 10 players will be making their appearance at the final Superseries event before the qualifying window for the Olympic Games closes on May 5.

Denmark's world No. 4 Jan Jorgensen also confirmed his participation at the tournament, joining double Olympic champion Lin Dan and world No. 1 Chen Long.

Meanwhile, South Korea will field men's doubles world No. 1 pair of Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong and women's world No. 4 Sung Ji Hyun at the US$350,000 (S$488,240) event.

Women's singles world No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain and No. 2 Saina Nehwal of India also headline a stellar women's field.

Hosts Singapore will be represented by 24 players, led by the Republic's top men's and women's singles shuttlers, Derek Wong and Liang Xiaoyu, and the mixed doubles pair of Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo.

Local badminton fan Mark Wong said: "I don't care if nobody follows me to go (for the event). I will go this time because there are so many top players here."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Momota to defend Singapore Open title'. Print Edition | Subscribe