Former two-time World Champion Kento Momota retires from badminton

Former two-time World Champion Kento Momota retires from badminton

Japan’s former World No. 1 and two-time world champion, Kento Momota, has announced his retirement from international badminton. The 29-year-old’s last international tournament will be the Thomas Cup, which will be played in Chengdu, China, from April 27.

However, he will continue to play in Japan’s domestic tournaments and said the decision to retire is because he has ‘reached his physical and mental limit.’

In a statement, Momota said: “I have made this decision because it feels like I have reached my physical and mental limit in trying to get back to being the best in the world.”

Ranked 52 on the international badminton circuit, Momota did not qualify for the Paris Olympics due to his world ranking and also had a horrid Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where he lost in the first round.

Momota was in his peak form in 2019, when he won 11 titles. The 29-year-old shuttler won the World Championship title in both 2018 and 2019 and became the second Japanese player, after Nozomi Okuhara, to win a singles World Championship gold.

However, an accident in 2020, just hours after winning the Malaysia Masters, turned his life and career upside down. While his car’s driver died, Momota underwent the knife for a fractured eye socket. His vision wasn’t the same post the surgery and the Japanese struggled for form.

He was also banned for gambling at an illegal casino, and that scandal banned him from the Rio Olympics in 2016.

His last international title was the Koera Masters in 2023.

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