Badminton: Never discount the Chinese shuttlers

Japan's Kento Momota engaging China's Chen Long in some intricate net play at the Thomas Cup Finals in May. While Momota won the first singles, China roared back to take the title 3-1, showing that they are not in decline in the men's game despite ot
Japan's Kento Momota engaging China's Chen Long in some intricate net play at the Thomas Cup Finals in May. While Momota won the first singles, China roared back to take the title 3-1, showing that they are not in decline in the men's game despite other countries raising their standards.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Others have caught up, but shuttlers still see powerhouses as a force to be reckoned with

As Japan's Kento Momota continued to gain ascendancy following his return to top-tier badminton, China as a collective force seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

World No. 8 Momota defeated top seed Viktor Axelsen 21-14, 21-9 yesterday to win the Indonesian Open men's singles title - his biggest crown since his comeback last year. While the Asian champion's victory did not raise eyebrows, there was some surprise over how the draw unfolded in Jakarta.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2018, with the headline 'Never discount the Chinese'. Print Edition | Subscribe