Mon, Aug 06, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Momota beats Shi in badminton World Championships final

AFP, NANJING, China

Kento Momota yesterday became the first Japanese man to win the badminton World Championships, convincingly beating China’s Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13 in Nanjing.

Momota’s nascent career descended into controversy in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino, denying him a place at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Momota, No. 2 in the world at the time, has been working his way back to the top ever since and the world No. 7 is in the form of his life.

In Shi he faced another of badminton’s rising stars.

The agile 22-year-old defeated Lin Dan and Olympic champion Chen Long on the way to the final to confirm his newfound status as China’s best player.

Shi appeared nervous early on against Momota.

He made a series of errors as the Momota clinched the first game in 21 minutes, and the Japanese star’s superiority was even more apparent in the second.

The end was an anti-climax, the shuttlecock hitting the top of the net before falling in Momota’s favor. The Japanese apologized to his opponent.

Earlier, Carolina Marin became the first woman to win three badminton world titles with an emphatic 21-19, 21-10 victory over P.V. Sindhu of India.

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