Kento Momota becomes world number one for first time

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Kento Momota is the new world number one, congratulations! (photo: AFP)
Kento Momota is the new world number one, congratulations! (photo: AFP)

Kuala Lumpur: Japan’s Kento Momota has become the first Japanese male player to reach world number one spot despite finishing in second place at the China Open in Changzhou last week.

Momota, 24, who re-joined the Japanese national team early this year after being suspended for illegal gambling, was also the first Japanese man to win the men’s singles world championship title. He bagged the world title by beating China’s Shi Yuqi in August. Momota also claimed the Asian title in April with a victory over China’s reigning Olympic champion Chen Long in the final.

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, on the other hand, has slipped to World No. 3 after Shi Yuqi of China who ranked second.

Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei exchanged places with Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen, to be ranked fifth while Chou moved up a spot to fourth.

Even though Tai Tzu Ying has failed to deliver the excitement at the Japan and China Open, she remained the World No. 1 women’s singles player in the world, staying 13,174 points clear of Akane Yamaguchi of Japan who will play Goa Fangjie of China in Korea Open quarter-finals on Friday.

Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo continued to lead the men’s doubles category with 102,683 points, ahead of China’s reigning world champion Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi jumped two positions to be ranked second in women’s doubles, after their compatriots Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota.

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