Momota Ready for International Return

Kento Momota has announced that he will make his long-awaited return to competitive badminton in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the YONEX sponsorship announcement for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Tokyo yesterday evening, Momota revealed he will compete at the All-Japan national championships in Tokyo in late December, before planning to play in the YONEX Thailand Open (12-17 January) and the TOYOTA Thailand Open (19-24 January) in Bangkok.

President of YONEX, Kusaki Hayashida (left) with Kento Momota (centre) and Arisa Higashino at YONEX sponsorship announcement in Tokyo.

Momota would need to earn enough points in those tournaments to boost his standing in the HSBC BWF Road to Bangkok Rankings in order to also qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals (27-31 January).

It has been a difficult year for the world No.1, who was injured in a car accident en route to Kuala Lumpur airport just hours after winning the Malaysia Masters. There were fears his career might be over after sustaining an injury to his eye socket.

“It’s been almost a year since my last international tournament,” said Momota.

Antonsen won the DANISA Denmark Open in October.

“First I have the All-Japan championships and I want to concentrate on that, but I’m really looking forward to playing against the best international players.

“I’m nervous but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Elsewhere, world No.3 and TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 runner-up to Momota, Anders Antonsen, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation.

The Dane confirmed to TV2 Denmark that he was diagnosed last Friday, the day after playing in a team match in Aarhus.

“I have therefore contacted everyone who should have been contacted. So far, I have fortunately not heard of anyone who has been infected by me. I do not know myself where I got my infection from either,” Antonsen told TV2.

Another four Indian players – Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and RMV Gurusaidutt – also tested positive during the past week after attending a wedding in India.

Entries for the YONEX Thailand Open and TOYOTA Thailand Open closed on Tuesday 8 December.

The list of athletes qualified for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals will be confirmed at the conclusion of the TOYOTA Thailand Open.

It is mandatory to enter both the YONEX Thailand Open and TOYOTA Thailand Open in order to be eligible to qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals.


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