Tokyo: World No. 1 men’s singles player Kento Momota was diagnosed with the COVID-19 at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, prompting the entire Japan team to pull out of upcoming 3 badminton tournaments that will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, said Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Sunday.
In the YONEX Thailand Open that will kick off on January 12, Kento Momota was drawn to face Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand in the opener.
Japanese media NHK reported that Momota spent the new year’s holiday in his hometown before joining his teammates at the Japanese national training center on Saturday.
About one year ago, Momota suffered bruises all over his body after he survived a fatal accident in Kuala Lumpur, just hours after he won the Malaysia Masters, and was later diagnosed with a fractured right eye socket.
He was playing his first competitive tournament at the All-Japan Championships last week where he successfully won his third straight Japan national championships.
Meanwhile, the coaching director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann, was also tested positive for COVID-19, one day before the Malaysian team departs for Bangkok for the Asian leg of the BWF World Tour tournaments.
BAM has confirmed that out of 40 people who were tested for COVID-19, Wong was the only person who got a positive result. Wong will be staying in Malaysia while the rest of the Malaysian team has been cleared to travel to Bangkok.