Kento Momota: New generation of shuttlers taking over
Top-ranked shuttler Kento Momota declared that "a new generation of players is taking over" after defeating world No. 2 Shi Yuqi to retain his Badminton Asia Championships title on Sunday.
On a red-letter day for Japan in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Akane Yamaguchi became the first Japanese to win the women's crown with a 21-19, 21-9 victory over home player He Bingjiao.
In a repeat match of last year's World Championships final, the 24-year-old Momota recovered from a slow start before beating Shi 12-21, 21-18, 21-8.
With Lin Dan in the twilight of his career aged 35 and his long-time rival Lee Chong Wei having treatment for nose cancer, Momota feels there has been a changing of the guard.
"A new generation of players is taking over and I am pleased to be part of it," said Momota, who will be favourite to win next year's Tokyo Olympics. The qualification period started yesterday. - AFP