I just want to sleep, says tired but thrilled champ

BALI • World badminton champion Kento Momota beat Anders Antonsen in the Indonesia Masters final yesterday, his first win at an international tournament since being badly injured in a car accident last year.

The Japanese thumped the Danish third seed 21-17, 21-11 on the resort island of Bali, where the tournament was held as the first of three back-to-back competitions culminating in the season-ending World Tour Finals.

"I am so happy. I've worked so hard for this victory," a delighted Momota told local media. "I'm exhausted now so I just want to sleep all day tomorrow and do my best in the Open next week."

The 27-year-old, who landed a record 11 titles in 2019, was almost forced to retire after a car crash in Malaysia in January last year left him with career-threatening injuries.

He fractured his eye socket in the accident, which killed the driver of the car he was in, and when he returned for his Olympic debut in Tokyo in July, he crashed out in the group stage, blaming his own "weakness".

It was a fruitful day for Japanese players who claimed two other titles yesterday.

Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi won the men's doubles by stunning top-ranked home favourites Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-11, 17-21, 21-19 while Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida downed unseeded South Koreans Jeong Na-eun and Kim Hye-jeong 21-9, 21-11 in the women's doubles decider.

There was disappointment though for another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi, who lost the women's singles final to South Korea's top seed An Se-young 21-17, 21-19.

In the mixed doubles, Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai powered past Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet 21-11, 21-12.

Next up is the Indonesia Open, which takes place from tomorrow to Sunday while the World Tour Finals runs from Dec 1 to 5.

  • 1st

    International title that Japan's world No. 1 Kento Momota has won since his car accident last year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2021, with the headline 'I just want to sleep, says tired but thrilled champ'. Subscribe