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Badminton

Japan's Kento Momota announces his retirement from Badminton

Published at :April 18, 2024 at 7:25 PM
Modified at :April 18, 2024 at 7:25 PM
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(Courtesy : Screenshot BWF TV)

Shashank Tripathi


The former world no 1 will bid adieu after the Thomas Cup.

Former World No. 1 Kento Momota has announced he will retire from badminton after the end of the Thomas Cup, which is scheduled to take place from April 27 to May 5.

The news has come as a shock to badminton enthusiasts, as the Japanese shuttler is only 29-year-old currently; however, the news was expected to arrive soon. In 2019, Kento Momota was at the peak of his career as he won a record 11 titles in one year. In addition to that, he was also named the top men’s player.

However, in January 2020, the Japanese shuttler met with a horrific accident in Kuala Lumpur. Kento Momota was fortunate enough to survive the accident, but he sustained several serious injuries. The former WR-1 made a courageous return to the BWF Tour in December 2020. Nevertheless, after his comeback, his performance was never the same.

“I have made this decision because it feels like I have reached my physical and mental limit in trying to get back to being the best in the world,” Momota, now ranked 52, said in a statement.

Momota announced his decision to called it quits on April 18 (Thursday) speaking about an hour and reflecting on the decision. Throughout the duration, the Japanese shuttler looked composed as he maintained a calm tone. Kento Momota also talked about his eye surgery and stated that he didn’t think he could compete with the top shuttlers around the globe anymore.

“I had eye surgery, and I was seeing double. I couldn’t move on the court the way I wanted to, and I’d get tired like I never used to. I tried. But I just felt it was no longer possible to keep up with the world’s best players,” he was quoted as saying by Olympics.com.

“It would have been easy for me to make this decision on my own, but I had the support of so many people in getting to where I am today. All I know is badminton. In so many ways, I didn’t want to give up for them.”

Momota also addressed his Olympic campaigns by stating that it was his ultimate dream. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kento Momota was banned from selection for gambling at an illegal casino. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he suffered a group-stage elimination despite being the top qualifier. However, the former WR1 stated that he would leave the sport with no regrets. He added:

“Ever since I took up badminton, the Olympics has been my dream stage. I was so happy when I made it there. The result was frustrating, but even when I’m done internationally, I’ll leave with no regrets.”

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