Sporting Life

No time to think, to plan in these endless rallies

Up there in the air, near the lights, the shuttle hangs for a moment. Then it starts to fall and Kento Momota starts to rise. Sixteen white feathers threaded together and a yellow-shoed man are on a collision course. In mid-air they meet.

Momota cocks his arm and snaps a smash. It sounds like a slap.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 14, 2019, with the headline 'No time to think, to plan in these endless rallies'. Print Edition | Subscribe