Kento Momota's Spectacular Comeback Leads Japan to Asian Team Badminton Semifinals

Leon To

Fri Feb 23 2024

Kento Momota
South Korea
Men's Doubles

Once again, former world number 1 Kento Momota has showcased his brilliance in the badminton world, staging a remarkable comeback to lead Japan to the semifinals of the men's team event at the 2024 Asian Team Badminton Championship.

In a thrilling quarterfinal match against India, Kenta Nishimoto, ranked 12th in the world, gave Japan an early advantage by defeating world number 7 HS Prannoy 21-16, 26-24. However, the reigning Asian Games champions and world number 1 men's doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, leveled the tie for India by beating Kenya Mitsuhashi/Hiroki Okamura 21-15, 21-17.

In the subsequent men's singles match, Lakshya Sen of India triumphed over Koki Watanabe 21-19, 22-20, putting India ahead 2-1. Nevertheless, MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila's loss to Akira Koga/Kazuki Shibata in the men's doubles meant the fate of the tie rested on the final match between former world number 1 men's singles players Kidambi Srikanth and Kento Momota. Momota, a three-time world champion, completed the task with a stunning comeback victory of 17-21, 21-9, 22-20. The win was even more miraculous as Momota rallied from 12-19 down in the decider, scoring 10 of the last 11 points to secure the triumph. Srikanth suffered his 16th defeat in 19 encounters against Momota.

In another notable men's team quarterfinal, Malaysia defeated Singapore 3-1 in the absence of top-10 stars Lee Zii Jia and former world champion Loh Kean Yew. Malaysia's victory was highlighted by Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik and Leong Jun Hao securing wins, leading Malaysia to a comprehensive victory over Singapore.

With Japan set to face Malaysia and China matched up against South Korea in the men's team semifinals, the intensity and drama of the Asian Team Badminton Championship continue to captivate fans worldwide. On the women's team side, India's historic semifinal entry, Indonesia's clash with Thailand, and other exciting matchups promise more thrilling badminton action in the upcoming rounds.