Kuala Lumpur: The 2018 and 2019 World champion, Kento Momota of Japan will not have a shot of winning his third World title as he withdrew from the 2021 BWF World Championships that will be held in Huelva, Spain, from December 12 to December 19, 2021.
The Nippon Badminton Association announced on Wednesday that the reigning world champion will not be going to Spain to defend his title due to the back pain he sustained during the 2021 French Open semi-finals against compatriot Kanta Tsuneyama, which also saw him lose all his ranking points accumulated in that tournament due to the fact that he retired when playing against a player from his own country.
Momota had returned to Japan after pulling out of his opening Group A match against Lakshya Sen of India at the BWF World Tour Finals in Bali last week.
“BWF can confirm the unfortunate news that world No.2 and men’s singles defending champion Kento Momota has pulled out with injury,” said BWF in a statement.
According to Momota’s badminton club and depending on his condition, he will decide whether to take part in the Japan national championships which scheduled to start on Dec. 25 in Tokyo shortly.
Besides Momota, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying also pulled out of the World Championships.
“Malaysian seventh seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying on Monday announced their split as a pair after 13 years and have to withdraw from the World Championships,” added BWF.
Meanwhile, the entire Indonesian badminton team also decided to skip the World Championships due to concern over the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Spain.
“The decision to withdraw the Indonesian badminton team from this World Championships has been approved by Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) General Chair Agung Firman Sampurna,” announced PBSI.
This decision was taken after going through discussions and input from the PBSI management, coaches, and the Chief coach – Rionnya Mainaky. They considered the spread of the Omicron variant in Spain to be very serious, which was the main reason behind this withdrawal.
“We don’t want to take any risks. Athletes’ safety and health are our number one priority. We have also discussed with the players and they agreed to withdraw from the World Championships,” said Mainaky.