World No. 1 Kento Momota tests positive for COVID-19; to miss Thailand Open

Kento Momota was set to return to competitive badminton after a gap of more than a year.

Kento Momota
Kento Momota

World No. 1 in Badminton, Kento Momota has tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday thereby leading to the withdrawal of himself and all badminton players from the Thailand Open which will take place this month, according to Japan’s Badminton Association. Momota was all set to make his comeback in the open after a serious injury in a car crash last year but his positive test has put paid to his hopes.

Momota had resumed competitive badminton by returning to the court and winning the All-Japan Championships last month. He rallied from behind to beat World No 11 Kanta Tsuseyama 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 in Tokyo. The win received a lot of plaudits for the grit shown to recover from what could have been a career-ending injury.

Three postponed tournaments to be played

Kento Momota
Kento Momota

Since the COVID-19 pandemic completely altered the international calendar in badminton, a plethora of tournaments had been postponed. The Denmark Open which was held in October was the only tournament held since March. Due to the change in schedule, three tournaments are scheduled to be held in January alone – the Yonex Thailand Open from Jan 12-17, the Toyota Thailand Open from Jan 19-24 and the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 from Jan 27-31.

Unfortunately for Japan and the tournament, Kento Momota will not be a part of the tournaments due to his positive test meaning the much-awaited return of the badminton ace will have to wait.

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