Kuala Lumpur: Although Japanese young badminton star Kento Momota who has been denied a spot on Japan’s team for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics after receiving an indefinite suspension from the Nippon Badminton Association on April 10, 2016 for his visit to an illegal casino, but he hadn’t officially been removed from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Ranking, until this Thursday.
Both Kento Momota and Kenichi Tago, 26, have admitted to gambling at casinos in Japan, and were officially removed from the latest BWF standings released by BWF as of April 28th.
The removal followed confirmation by the Nippon Badminton Association (NBA) that both players have been suspended for more than a year. NBA had also clarified that instead of suspending both players “indefinitely”, the suspension will probably “exceed a year”.
According to what BWF Council agreed two years ago, players who were suspended for more than a year would be removed from all rankings.
Besides Momota and Tago, BWF also removed an USA shuttler Zhang Beiwen and Australian player Setyana Mapasa from its Olympic Qualification Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, due to their ineligibility to represent their respective adopted countries.
Zhang Beiwen was born in China but moved to Singapore at the age of 13 in the year 2003. She played with the Singapore National Team until 2012. In 2013, she moved to the USA with her parents.
As for Setyana Mapasa, she went to Australia to seek medical treatment for her knee injury in 2012. Since then, she has since been partnering with Gronya Somerville to become one of the top women’s doubles pair in Australia.
Fortunately, these two players still get to maintain their positions on the BWF World Rankings.
In the absence of Kento Momota, the next highest ranked Japanese player – Sho Sasaki was selected to replace Momota in Rio.