Momota creates badminton history in Macau Open
( *Credit image : BWF World Superseries)
Former World No 2 Kento Momota of Japan is making waves in his return to competitive badminton after being suspended for gambling at an illegal casino in Japan in 2016.
On Sunday the unseeded 23-year-old won his first Grand Prix Gold title when he bagged the Macau Open with a 21-16, 21-10 win over Indonesia's 14th seeed Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 41 minutes.
In the process Momota rode himself into Japanese badminton history.
He is the first Japanese player to win the Macau Open and he did it in style with his crafty badminton.
It is another feather in his cap.
Momota has played in six finals this year and won all and the podium finishes so far are not the end for him.
He won the Dutch Grand Prix Open and the Canada Open Grand Prix.
Momota who won the world junior title in 2012, also won this year's Czech Open and the Belgian International in the International Challenge.
Momota, holds a series of impressive firsts in his brilliant badminton career which was was "cut short" by the suspension after confessing that he gambled away some 0.5 million yen at illegal casinos in the country with teammate Kenichi Tago.
Japan dropped him from the team to the Rio Olympics last year although Momota was Japan's best bet to win a medal in the men's singles.
His badminton brilliance saw his meteoric rise in his game and No 2 in the world.
Momota is also the first Japanese player to win a superseries and this was the 2015 Singapore Open.
The same year Momota won the Indonesia Open and the season ending Dubai World Superseries Finals in Dubai.
Before the suspension for gambling Momota also won the India Open Superseries in 2016.
He was competing in the Malaysia Open 2016 when he was asked to return home to face disciplinary action.
With the Macau Open in his bag Momota is now set to make a comeback at the bigger stage next year and is expected to make an impact in the Superseries next year.