Kento Momota Leads Japan to Victory in Thomas Cup 2024

Leon To

Sat May 04 2024

Thomas Cup 2024
Kento Momota
Viktor Axelsen

The campaign of the Thomas Cup 2024 in Chengdu, China has been smooth sailing for former world number one, Kento Momota. With an impressive win over Lee Chia Hao, Momota's contribution helped Japan secure the top spot in Group B, avoiding a showdown with Denmark and Viktor Axelsen in the quarterfinals.

Initially, Japan was predicted to struggle against the reigning Thomas Cup 2014 champions, Chinese Taipei. However, the Taiwanese men's doubles pairs Wang Chi-Lin/Yang Po-Hsuan and Lee Yang/Ye Hong Wei failed to deliver effectively. Kenta Nishimoto also played a crucial role in Japan's victory by defeating former world number two Chou Tien Chen. With a perfect record in Group B, Japan is set to face Malaysia in the quarterfinals.

On the other hand, defending champions India faced a potential exit after a 1-4 loss to Indonesia in the battle for the top spot in Group C. Indonesia's reward is a quarterfinal clash with South Korea, while India is set for a showdown with host nation China. However, the India-Indonesia match was far from straightforward as the scoreline suggests.

In the first men's doubles match, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty of India saved 6 match points in the second set and 4 match points in the third set against Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana. Fikri expressed relief at the victory, emphasizing the importance of resilience and confidence on the court.

Jonatan Christie of Indonesia faced a tough challenge from Lakshya Sen but maintained composure to secure a hard-fought victory in a 75-minute battle. Christie highlighted the mental and fighting spirit required in major tournaments and the team's motivation to give their best despite the outcome.

In the only second men's doubles match, when India experimented with a new pair, Indonesia comfortably clinched the win but still had to fend off game points. Although Kidambi Srikanth had two match points against Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo, the Indonesian player overcame the challenge to lead his team to a 4-1 victory. The unexpected consolation win for India came from the clash between two top-ranked singles players, as Prannoy defeated Ginting.

Kento Momota's stellar performance leading Japan to success, coupled with the thrilling battles between India and Indonesia, has added excitement to the ongoing Thomas Cup 2024 tournament. As the quarterfinals approach, the intensity and drama on the badminton courts in Chengdu continue to captivate fans worldwide.