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Former world no. 1 Kento Momota announces retirement

Momota will hang his badminton kits after the Thomas Cup in China, where he will represent Japan.

Two-time defending champion Japan

Two-time World Championships gold medallist Kento Momota in action during a match. (Photo credit: BWF/Badminton Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 18 April 2024 5:38 AM GMT

Japanese badminton star Kento Momota announced his retirement on Thursday at a press conference in Tokyo.

Momota, the former world no 1, will hang his badminton kits after the Thomas and Uber Cup in Chengdu, People's Republic of China, where he will represent Japan. The tournaments are scheduled for April 27- May 5. Momota won the Thomas Cup in 2014 in New Delhi.

Momota, 29, witnessed a slump in his career when he met with a fatal car accident in Malaysia in January 2020, just before the start of the Malaysia Open.

"At the time of my retirement from the national team after the Thomas Cup at the end of this month, I would like to express my gratitude in person. Since the car accident in January 2020, there have been many difficult times, and I have tried to play the way I wanted to play, but I think I have had a fulfilling life in my career as a national team player," Momota said at the press conference.

Before he met with the accident, Momota was the world no. 1 and was crowned world champion twice. He also won the Asian Championships gold twice, apart from several other medals.

Momota, who holds the record for winning the most number of World Tour titles -11 - in a season, is currently ranked 52nd in the Race to Paris and seventh among the Japanese men's singles players. With a national badminton federation eligible to send a maximum of two players per category, Momota has very little chance of making it to the Olympics.

Since recovering from the mishap, Momota made a comeback to the World Tour, but he has never been the same player. He made a first-round exit from the Tokyo Olympics. Since the accident, he won only two titles at Indonesia Masters in 2021 and Korea Masters in 2023.

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