Momota stuns Long in Asia Championship final

Japan’s Kento Momota defeated Olympic gold-medallist Chen Long 21-17, 21-13 in the final of the Asia Championship.

Kento Momota of Japan celebrates after winning the men's singles final match against Chen Long.   -  AFP

Japan’s Kento Momota shocked Olympic gold-medallist Chen Long to be crowned men’s singles champion at the Badminton Asia Championships in China on Sunday.

The World No. 17, who had never previously won a game against Chen, floored the strong Chinese favourite 21-17, 21-13 in exactly an hour for the big prize.

Later, top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei took 43 minutes to dispatch China’s Chen Yufei 21-19, 22-20 in the women’s final.

Momota, a compact left-hander, had Chen firmly on the back foot as he reeled off seven straight points to clinch the title when the world number three netted.

Momota clenched his fists in triumph and kissed the Japan badge on his singlet after his victory, which follows his straight-sets dismissal of Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei in the semifinals.

The 23-year-old’s breakthrough follows a steady rise up the rankings, and comes after four previous defeats to Chen, a two-time World champion.

The results (finals)

Men: Kento Momota (Jpn) bt Chen Long (Chn) 21-17, 21-13. Doubles: Li Junhui & Liu Yuchen (Chn) bt Takeshi Kamura & Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) 11-21 21-10 21-13.

Women: Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) bt Chen Yufei (Chn) 21-19, 22-20. Doubles: Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) bt Misaki Matsutomo & Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) 21-18, 18-21, 21-15.

Mixed doubles: Tontowi Ahmad & Liliyana Natsir (Ina) bt Wang Yilyu & Huang Dongping (Chn) 21-17, 21-17.


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