Kento Momota beats Khosit Phetpradab for first Japan Open title

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Kento Momota (L) and Khosit Phetpradab pose on the podium of the men final of Japan Open. (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota (L) and Khosit Phetpradab pose on the podium of the men final of Japan Open. (photo: AFP)

Tokyo: World No. 4 Kento Momota fell to his knees, kissed the Japanese flag on his jersey. No need for mementos from this victory. The long-awaited Japan Open title would be plenty.

Kento Momota finally mastered the one tournament he had always dreamed of winning, beating unseeded Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand 21-14, 21-11 at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on Sunday, the venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic badminton competition. Momota also became the first Japanese men’s singles player to ever win the tournament at home soil.

Kento Momota shares a light moment with Khosit Phetpradab during the Japan Open award ceremony. (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota shares a light moment with Khosit Phetpradab during the Japan Open award ceremony. (photo: AFP)

“I am much happier by winning the Japan Open than the World Championships!” said Momota.

“I didn’t even think of winning this tournament when I played here three years ago.”

Momota had always wanted to win the Japan Open in front of home crowd since a very young age.

Kento Momota with his Japan Open trophy. (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota with his Japan Open trophy. (photo: AFP)

“At that time, it looked so cool to win the Japan Open. Therefore, I’ve decided one day that I would like to stand on the podium of Japan Open, and today, my dream finally came true,” added the excited Momota.

The Japan Open was Momota’s fifth title in his sixth finals this season. His only loss came at the Malaysia Open final, where he went down to Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei in a fast pace battle. Momota took home a total prize money of USD $49,000 as the Japan Open champion.

Indonesia’s Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon proved they are the real king of men’s doubles as they emerged champions of the men’s doubles category.

The top-seeded Indonesian produced a ruthless display with audacious attacks against the world champions Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China, blasting past the No. 2 seeds from China 21-11, 21-13 in just 38 minutes.

The six-day Japan Open was one of five Super 750 tournaments of the BWF World Tour that offered total prize money of $700,000.

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