Kento Momota’s title-winning efficiency on the Indonesia Masters got here at an opportune time in his season and profession.

After all, each title is welcome, however some are extra necessary than others in giving athletes the arrogance they should keep on with latest success at the back of their minds.

1 Momota’s title win on Sunday, 21 November, was over a 21-17, 21-11 scientific resolution over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in Bali. The victory supplied emotional reduction for Momota, a medal favourite on the Tokyo Olympics, who was knocked out in group-stage play.

“I’m very joyful. I’ve labored very exhausting for this win,” the 27-year-old informed reporters after the match. “I used to be making an attempt to do my finest in each the matches. I did not do the rest,” he stated. And I wasn’t dashing my pictures. Doing my finest, I received there in the long run.”

As soon as there, Momota had little time to benefit from the brilliance of his fifteenth Badminton World Federation World Tour title.

He shifted his aggressive focus to the November 23–28 Indonesia Open, the next-to-last event of the yr. (There are separate world rankings and Tour rankings; within the latter class, Momota is quantity 7 within the rankings launched on Tuesday, November 23.)

However earlier than the beginning of his subsequent event, with victory to savor after an unexpectedly lengthy stretch and not using a title (because the Malaysia Masters in January 2020), Momota’s feedback point out that he has taken a formidable type. Appreciated the chance to check your expertise in opposition to the enemy.

Moreover, his love for competitors was displayed by way of tournaments within the Indonesian metropolis, most notably within the finals.

“Antonsen is a really robust opponent,” commented Momota. “I actually loved the match. However I do not suppose he loved taking part in in the present day. I am drained now although, so I need to sleep all day tomorrow and do my finest [Indonesia] Open subsequent week.

failures and challenges

A Tour title in 2021 is a far cry from Momota’s race for a record-setting 11-title trophy in 2019.

Nobody could be shocked if Momota had repeated its 2019 success story in 2020.

His general pace, energy, depth and fast instincts fueled an unforgettable 2019 season, and he was on the top of his powers.


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As an alternative, many of the 2020 season was canceled as a result of international pandemic. And earlier than the event’s first wave kicked off in March, Momota was recovering from accidents sustained in an vehicle accident after successful the Malaysia Masters, together with a damaged proper eye socket.

Momota was in a van on his technique to Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport. The motive force died within the accident.

Shuttler’s facial accidents required surgical procedure to restore his eye in February.

In March 2020, Momota informed Olympics.com that the encouragement from followers helped encourage him as he ready to make a comeback.

“Thanks for the phrases of encouragement I received, I need to intention to win a gold medal,” he stated on the time.

Momota suffered one other setback on his approach again this January, when he was compelled to overlook a pair of tournaments in Thailand after he examined optimistic for COVID-19 earlier than the Japan nationwide staff left Tokyo. fell.

His return to the All England Open was pushed again to 18 March, and Momota’s first-round victory (21-12, 22-20 resolution over India’s Parupalli Kashyap) generated a response that was hardly stunning. .

“I am glad I survived the primary spherical,” Momota stated. kyodo information,

vying for victory

Momota reached the semi-finals of the French Open on 30 October. He retired after successful the primary recreation 26–24 and shedding the second 21–11 as a result of a again sprain in his duel with compatriot Kanta Tsuneyama.

He was runner-up on the 2021 Denmark Open final week, shedding 22-20, 18-21, 12-21 to Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Viktor Axelsen.

Momota’s Denmark Open confirmed she has left behind the frustration of an Olympic expertise. For instance, he mercilessly traded pictures with Axelsen throughout massive components of the dynamic 93-minute match.

Three months in the past, Momota’s Olympic medal hopes vanished and he or she felt the heavy weight of the nation’s hopes on her robust shoulders.

“I’m grateful for all of the assist I’ve acquired. I am sorry I did not reside as much as everybody’s expectations.

“It was tough for me to cope with this example,” he added in his blunt evaluation of his final Olympic match. “I attempted to play aggressively, however I used to be not emotionally robust. My bodily situation is okay.

“It is exhausting to play at my regular stage, but it surely’s an amazing expertise to be right here.”


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Now, practically 4 months after Kento Momota appeared in an Olympic match, he has a few of the greatest sporting achievements to reap the benefits of as a constructing block for the foreseeable future.

Maybe combining 2020 and 2021 into one profession chapter finest helps classify their profession ups and downs within the post-COVID-19 period.

However there’s a joyful memento for Momota because the 2021 Badminton World Federation season winds down.

“It takes lots of time. I received in the long run,” Momota stated, based on kyodo information Bali after defeating Antonsen within the last. “It is a results of me taking my No. 1 place apart and taking part in each shot with willpower.”

The BWF World Tour Finals, which can also be in Bali and begins on December 1, will likely be Momota’s final likelihood to show his willpower this yr.

associated: badminton | World No. 1 Kento Momota Grateful for Alternative to Compete for Olympic Satisfaction

Creator: Ed Odeven

Observe Ed of Japan Ahead [Japan Sports Notebook] Right here on Sunday, in [Odds and Evens] Right here throughout the week, and Twitter ed_odeven.

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