Kento Momota is about for a protracted awaited return to the BWF World Tour when he takes to court docket for the All England Open (March 17-21).
The Japanese star begins with a first-round encounter in opposition to India’s P. Kashyap, and if he wins, Malaysia’s Liew Daren and Lee Zii Jia might be in his approach within the subsequent rounds.
He’ll get to see how a lot the remaining have caught as much as him after being out of the World Tour for over a yr.
After successful on the Malaysia Masters in January final yr, the world primary was harm in a automobile crash and needed to bear an eye fixed socket operation that put him out of fee for a number of months.
Through the interval, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the badminton season and the Tokyo Olympics, which Momota was sizzling favorite to win.
Simply as he was about to renew his profession on the Bangkok Tour in January, the southpaw examined optimistic for the coronavirus on the Narita Airport, forcing him and the remainder of the Japanese contingent to withdraw.
Because of that, Momota needed to bid his time and watch as others shut the hole on his primary spot, particularly Viktor Axelsen who gained three of 4 titles on provide this yr.
If all goes effectively, each males will meet within the All-England males’s singles ultimate, gained by Axelsen final yr.
Returning to court docket is not only a restart of Momota’s profession but in addition step one in the direction of gearing himself to be in high type when the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics rolls alongside this July.
The Kagawa-born was banned from the Rio spectacle in 2016 after slapped with a one-year ban for unlawful playing, a mistaken that he mentioned he wished to make proper.
“In 2016, I betrayed many individuals and brought on them plenty of bother, so I need to make amends and play with gratitude in Tokyo. I’m going to hold everybody’s feelings and take them with me to the Olympics stage,” he told KyodoNews.