July 20, 2024

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Badminton-Momota shines on long-awaited Games debut

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TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) – In his extensive overdue Olympic debut, men’s singles range one Kento Momota of Japan quickly conquer the United States’ Timothy Lam 21-12 21-9 on Sunday, even producing the occasional trick shot at the rear of his back during their warm-up.

While Lam experienced his moments – after bringing his “favourite player” Momota to his knees – he was no match for Japan’s darling on his home turf.

Momota’s journey to Tokyo 2020 has been fraught with particular and expert setbacks, which includes contracting COVID-19. The 26-yr-old was embroiled in an unlawful gambling scandal months ahead of the Rio Games in 2016, and banned by the Nippon Badminton Affiliation.

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Then environment quantity two, Momota was stripped from the league tables and by the time he bought back again on the court docket in 2017, he was ranked 282nd. With a 39-match unbeaten streak, he clawed his way back again to the top.

But Momota’s Olympic desires seemed crushed once more in early 2020 when he was in a motor vehicle incident that still left the driver useless and harmed his sight among other injuries. He experienced time to get well for the duration of the pandemic, creating a comeback at the All-England Open in March to lift Japanese hopes he could problem for Olympic gold.

Highly effective SMASHES

In women’s singles, China’s Chen Yu Fei and India’s PV Sindhu wrecked their opponents with strong smashes and decisive backhands in below 30 minutes, though a tearful Nozomi Okuhara from Japan overcame a much weaker participant just after a battle.

Sindhu beat Israel’s Ksenia Polikarpova 21-7, 21-10, leaving her visibly discouraged and hanging her head with just about every shed point.

“It was pretty an simple match,” Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist Sindhu stated at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

Nevertheless Sindhu, who was beaten to the gold at Rio by Spain’s Carolina Marin, is amount 7 in environment rankings, she is viewed as a serious menace to Chen and Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-Ying. Marin withdrew from the Tokyo Video games in June just after tearing knee ligaments.

“Tokyo is a fresh new start,” Sindhu stated. “You can not count on to be Superman, to feel that you will yet again be a medallist. It is really not like that mainly because most people is likely to be at their major variety.”

Chen Yu Fei, the 2nd greatest women’s singles participant, crushed Egypt’s Doha Hany 21-5 21-3 in about 20 minutes.

Okuhara – environment amount a few – took the stage just following Sindhu, receiving off to a rocky commence in opposition to Germany’s Yvonne Li, the environment variety 22 but Okuhara rallied to gain 21-17 21-4.

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Reporting by Richa Naidu Modifying by Karishma Singh, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Ed Osmond

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