World’s top-ranked men’s singles badminton player Kento Momota escaped with a broken nose after being involved in a fatal accident on early Monday morning, hours after winning the Malaysian Masters.
Momota, alongside his physiotherapist Morimoto Akifumi, assistant coach Yu Hirayama and Badminton World Federation official William Thomas, was heading to the airport when the van they had hired rammed into a 30-tonne truck.
The driver was killed in the accident and his body reportedly had to be cut free from the wreckage. Hirayama sustained injuries to his face her right leg while Arkifumi’s hand was broken and Thomas suffered leg and head injuries.
Momota suffered lacerations and a fractured nose.
Wearing a back cap and a white mask, Momota, who won a record 11 titles in 2019, left for Japan on Wednesday.
“Momota has been discharged from hospital. He is heading back to Japan this morning,” Norza Zakaria, president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia told AFP.
The tragic incident occurred after Momota had beaten Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the final of the Malaysian Masters in Kuala Lumpur.
Momota won the world championship, All England Championship and Asian Championship during a memorable last year. As per reports, he might be out of action for at least two months and will aim to return at the All England Championships on March 11.
He is a gold medal favourite at the Olympics this year which Japan will host.