Kento Momota: A Farewell to Badminton Legend

Leon To

Wed May 01 2024

Kento Momota

Former world number one men's singles badminton player, Kento Momota, maintains a smile as the hearts of his fans shatter at the news of his imminent retirement. Having made history for Japan with his Thomas Cup victory a decade ago, Momota remains the brightest star for his nation. As he prepares to bid adieu to the international badminton stage, speculation swirls about his future plans.

Expressing his emotions ahead of his final major campaign in Chengdu, China from April 27 to May 5, 2024, Momota stated, "This will be my last tournament competing against top players, so I just want to enjoy this competition and give it my all." Despite feeling a tinge of sadness for not being able to face them anymore, Momota radiates positivity and readiness for the challenge at hand. He plans to savor every moment of his last tournament, even asking fellow players to take photos with him.

Momota underlines the significance of his third singles match, emphasizing, "I want to play my best, and the third singles match is crucial as it determines the overall result. So, one must be strong mentally. Of course, I aim to bring glory to Japan in my final international tournament." Asked about whom he will remember the most, Momota mentions Viktor Axelsen and Anthony Ginting for their fierce competition and camaraderie on the court.

Inevitably, questions arise about his retirement decision following his accident. Momota explains, "After the accident, my body wasn't in good shape. It took a long time to recover. I could never fully regain my form post-injury, facing numerous challenges hindering my performance. As my results weren't satisfactory, I decided to retire from international tournaments and focus on playing in Japan while mentoring younger players."

Looking ahead, Momota reveals his post-retirement plans to promote badminton in Japan. "After retiring, I want to partake in badminton events, inspiring and fostering a love for the sport among young players. As long as I can play badminton, I want to play as much as possible, igniting passion in the next generation of Japanese athletes. I intend to engage with children and younger players, hoping to inspire them and instill a deep love for badminton just as I have."

Reflecting on his legacy, Momota desires to be remembered for himself, his badminton prowess, and unique playing style, wanting people to recall him as Kento Momota.

As Kento Momota gears up for his final international badminton showdown in Chengdu, fans worldwide remain in awe of his sportsmanship and dedication. His retirement marks the end of an era in men's singles badminton, leaving a lasting impact on the sport and inspiring generations of players to come.