Kento Momota downs Lin Dan to reach Japan Open semis

Kento Momota is the next generation of badminton star. (photo: AFP)

Tokyo: Reigning World Champion Kento Momota of Japan stepped up his game, holding off badminton legend Lin Dan of China 21-8, 21-10 in the Japan Open quarter-final at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on Friday.

This was the battle of two of the best left-handers in badminton and the 24 year-old Japanese eventually walked away with a victory while levelling their career meeting record to 1 – 1.

“It’s hard to describe my feeling, because he was my idol, I used to watch his video when I was in high school, learning the moves and skills of a left-handed player,” said Momota.

Momota will play No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semi-finals.

Axelsen, defeated Anthony Sinisuka Ginting comfortably with 21-17, 21-15.

Meanwhile, Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand pulled off a huge upset by overcoming No. 6 seed Chen Long 21-19, 24-22 to take on Lee Dong Keun of South Korea on Saturday.

In the women’s competition, World Champion Carolina Marin got the better of Ratchanok Intanon 21-18, 21-19 to set up a semi-final clash with No. 5 seed Chen Yufei.


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