|Born||1 September 1994|
Mino, Kagawa, Japan
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
|Career record||340 wins, 80 losses|
|Highest ranking||1 (27 September 2018)|
|Current ranking||1 (23 March 2021)|
Kento Momota (桃田 賢斗, Momota Kento, born 1 September 1994) is a Japanese badminton player. He is known to have a skillful and relentless play style on court. He has won several major badminton tournaments including two World Championships titles, two Asian Championships titles, and one All England title. Momota entered into Guinness Book of World Records for "The most badminton men's singles titles in a season", for his achievements by winning 11 titles in the 2019 season.
Kento Momota started his badminton career from junior level with quite perfect results. Momota's badminton talent has been seen since he was a child. The player born in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, on September 1, 1994, started to wrestle with feathers since he was in the second grade of elementary school. He won the first title in a fairly prestigious tournament in Japan, the All Japan Elementary School Championships. Kala's Momota, who was in grade 6, came out as a champion in the men's singles number. After elementary school, Momota continued his studies in Junior High School in Fukuoka Prefecture. In his third year, he again won a similar tournament but at the junior level, the All Japan Junior High School Championships. Graduating from junior high school, Momota studied at the Fukuoka High School.
Momota's presence was increasingly visible as he took part in a bigger race, the 2011 World Junior Championships held in Taiwan. Even though Momota did not make it as a champion, it was a valuable lesson when he lost in the semifinal to the Malaysian Zulfadli Zulkiffli who came out as the 2011 World Junior Champion. Towards the end of 2011, Momota began to compete with his seniors in the All Japan Badminton Championship or 2011 Japan National Championship. Momota lost to Kenichi Tago in the final. Even so, his performance was noticed by the Nippon Badminton Association (NBA). Momota began to join the Japanese national team and was expected to become a future star.
Young Momota continued to learn from his defeats. Momota participated in the 2012 Asian Junior Championship held in Gimcheon, South Korea. Learning from his mistakes in 2011, he avenged his defeat in 2011 by becoming 2012 Asia Junior Champion after defeating Malaysian representatives, Soong Joo Ven in two straight games, 21-13, 22-20. In the same year, Momota also won the World Junior Championship held in Chiba, Japan. Appearing at home, Momota managed to donate gold in public. In the final round, he beat the mainstay of China, Xue Song through a very tight rubber game match. Momota won 21-17, 19-21, 21-19
The promising Momota prospect attracted the attention of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation, the badminton club of NTT East which finally succeeded in asking for his hand to join. Momota officially joined the club that raised its name since April 2013. NTT is the largest telecommunications company in Japan. By joining the NTT East club, Momota was ready with the consequences of also working at the company. Momota who was then 19 years old had begun to learn to manage time management in such a way. He began to get used to dividing his time to work, practicing on the Japanese national team, and being active in his club.
In 2013, Momota who started the youth competition was sent to the International Challenge (IC) competition level. Satisfactory results in Momih in the IC satisfaction series in Europe. Momota managed to emerge as champion in Estonia, Sweden and Austria. Momota was immediately forged in a series of Grand Prix / Gold (GP / GPG) tournaments and even superseries (premiers) throughout 2013. In tournaments with higher castes, Momota could not immediately become a champion. Great achievement does require a process that is not instant, that's the sentence that would be right for Momota who at that time really struggled with often crawl from the qualifying round.
He won all his matches during Japan's maiden Thomas Cup victory in 2014, playing second men's singles behind Kenichi Tago.
In 2015, He was the first Japanese player to win the Singapore Open. By winning that title, he became the first Japanese player to successfully capture a Super Series in Men's Singles and currently holds the record as the youngest Super Series champion in that category.In the 2015 Sudirman Cup, he repeated his feat in Thomas Cup to help Japan secure a spot as a runner-up. He once again made history in the BWF World Championships 2015 held in Jakarta. He became the first Japanese player to win a medal in the Men's Singles category of the prestigious tournament. He made it to the semi-finals, before losing to Chen Long in straight sets. Rounding off the year, he won the 2015 BWF World Superseries Final in Dubai. He competed at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon as well as the 2016 Badminton Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad.
Momota returned to the Japanese national team at the end of 2017. However, due to a lack of his points, he was not qualified to play in the 2018 All England Open, a significant Super 1000 tournament which was held in March. On 28 April, he won the 2018 Asian Championship which was held in Wuhan, after defeating Chen Long of China in the finals with a score of 21–17, 21–13.
On 5 August, he won the World Championships title in Nanjing, China after beating Shi Yuqi from China in the finals with a score of 21–11, 21–13. He also won 4 BWF World Tour titles: Indonesia Open, Japan Open, Denmark Open and Fuzhou China Open. Momota became the first Japanese men's singles player to occupy the World number 1 in the BWF World ranking in 27 September.
Momota started the 2019 season by competing at the Malaysia Masters as the first seeds, but his pace stopped by Kenta Nishimoto in the first round. He then reached the final in Indonesia Masters, but losing to Anders Antonsen of Denmark. Momota claimed his first title in 2019, by winning the German Open a Super 300 tournament. In March 2019, he won the All England Open beating Viktor Axelsen from Denmark in the finals in 3 sets with a score of 21–11, 15–21, 21–15, becoming the first Japanese man to win the All England Open title.
In April, Momota won his second Asian Championships title in Wuhan, China beating home favorite Shi Yuqi in three games 12–21, 21–18, 21–8. He also won the Singapore and Japan Open titles. In August, he reclaimed his World Champion title, beating Anders Antonsen 21–9 and 21–3. In doing so, Momota became only the fourth player to win back-to-back titles on a short, all-Chinese list that includes Yang Yang, Lin Dan and Chen Long. After that, he won his first title in China and Korea Opens, also defend his title at Denmark Open and Fuzhou China Open.
Momota closed his stellar 2019 year by winning his 11th title, the World Tour Finals by beating Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 17–21, 21–17, 21–14. Previously in the gala dinner of the same event, he was awarded as the BWF Best Male Player of the Year. He is also nominated as Best Male Athlete by the Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive.
Momota began the 2020 season as the men's singles world number 1. He competed at the Malaysia Masters as the first seeded, defeated Indian's Kashyap Parupalli and H. S. Prannoy in the first and second round with two straight games, later in the quarter final beat Huang Yuxiang in the rubber games. In the semi final, he dashed the host's hopes by bowing Lee Zii Jia with the score of 21–10, 21–19. Despite not being at his physical best, Momota pulled off a good show to beat the 2017 World Champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 24–22, 21–11 in the final. He extended his head-to-head record over Axelsen to a whopping 14–1. After winning the Malaysia Masters, Momota was involved in an accident on the way to the airport. He suffered a broken nose as well as injuries to his lips and face.
In January, Momota tested positive for COVID-19 prior to travelling to Bangkok. As a result, the entire Japanese team withdrew from the three tournaments scheduled to occur that month in Thailand: the Yonex Thailand Open, Toyota Thailand Open, and World Tour Finals. In March, Momota made a comeback to international competition from injury at the All England Open. Played as top seed, he was beaten by Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in the quarter finals in straight game.
BWF World Championships
|2015||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Chen Long||9–21, 15–21||Bronze|
|2018||Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Park, Nanjing, China||Shi Yuqi||21–11, 21–13||Gold|
|2019||St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland||Anders Antonsen||21–9, 21–3||Gold|
|2018||Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China||Chen Long||21–17, 21–13||Gold|
|2019||Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium, Wuhan, China||Shi Yuqi||12–21, 21–18, 21–8||Gold|
BWF World Junior Championships
|2011||Taoyuan Arena, Taoyuan City, Taipei, Chinese Taipei||Zulfadli Zulkiffli||18–21, 18–21||Bronze|
|2012||Chiba Port Arena, Chiba, Japan||Xue Song||21–17, 19–21, 21–19||Gold|
Asian Junior Championships
|2011||Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, Lucknow, India||Zulfadli Zulkiffli||18–21, 19–21||Bronze|
|2012||Gimcheon Indoor Stadium, Gimcheon, South Korea||Soong Joo Ven||21–13, 22–20||Gold|
BWF World Tour (14 titles, 4 runners-up)
The BWF World Tour, which was announced on 19 March 2017 and implemented in 2018, is a series of elite badminton tournaments sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The BWF World Tours are divided into levels of World Tour Finals, Super 1000, Super 750, Super 500, Super 300 (part of the HSBC World Tour), and the BWF Tour Super 100.
|2018||Malaysia Open||Super 750||Lee Chong Wei||17–21, 21–23||Runner-up|
|2018||Indonesia Open||Super 1000||Viktor Axelsen||21–14, 21–9||Winner|
|2018||Japan Open||Super 750||Khosit Phetpradab||21–14, 21–11||Winner|
|2018||China Open||Super 1000||Anthony Sinisuka Ginting||21–23, 19–21||Runner-up|
|2018||Denmark Open||Super 750||Chou Tien-chen||22–20, 16–21, 21–15||Winner|
|2018||Fuzhou China Open||Super 750||Chou Tien-chen||21–13, 11–21, 21–16||Winner|
|2018||BWF World Tour Finals||World Tour Finals||Shi Yuqi||12–21, 11–21||Runner-up|
|2019||Indonesia Masters||Super 500||Anders Antonsen||16–21, 21–14, 16–21||Runner-up|
|2019||German Open||Super 300||Kenta Nishimoto||21–10, 21–16||Winner|
|2019||All England Open||Super 1000||Viktor Axelsen||21–11, 15–21, 21–15||Winner|
|2019||Singapore Open||Super 500||Anthony Sinisuka Ginting||10–21, 21–19, 21–13||Winner|
|2019||Japan Open||Super 750||Jonatan Christie||21–16, 21–13||Winner|
|2019||China Open||Super 1000||Anthony Sinisuka Ginting||19–21, 21–17, 21–19||Winner|
|2019||Korea Open||Super 500||Chou Tien-chen||21–19, 21–17||Winner|
|2019||Denmark Open||Super 750||Chen Long||21–14, 21–12||Winner|
|2019||Fuzhou China Open||Super 750||Chou Tien-chen||21–15, 17–21, 21–18||Winner|
|2019||BWF World Tour Finals||World Tour Finals||Anthony Sinisuka Ginting||17–21, 21–17, 21–14||Winner|
|2020||Malaysia Masters||Super 500||Viktor Axelsen||24–22, 21–11||Winner|
BWF Superseries (4 titles)
The BWF Superseries, which was launched on 14 December 2006 and implemented in 2007, is a series of elite badminton tournaments, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). BWF Superseries levels are Superseries and Superseries Premier. A season of Superseries consists of twelve tournaments around the world that have been introduced since 2011. Successful players are invited to the Superseries Finals, which are held at the end of each year.
|2015||Singapore Open||Hu Yun||21–17, 16–21, 21–15||Winner|
|2015||Indonesia Open||Jan Ø. Jørgensen||16–21, 21–19, 21–7||Winner|
|2015||Dubai World Superseries Finals||Viktor Axelsen||21–15, 21–12||Winner|
|2016||India Open||Viktor Axelsen||21–15, 21–18||Winner|
BWF Grand Prix (2 titles, 1 runner-up)
The BWF Grand Prix had two levels, the BWF Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold. It was a series of badminton tournaments sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) which was held from 2007 to 2017.
|2017||Canada Open||Kanta Tsuneyama||20–22, 21–14, 14–21||Runner-up|
|2017||Dutch Open||Yu Igarashi||21–10, 21–12||Winner|
|2017||Macau Open||Ihsan Maulana Mustofa||21–16, 21–10||Winner|
BWF International Challenge/Series (7 titles)
|2013||Estonian International||Eetu Heino||20–22, 21–15, 21–15||Winner|
|2013||Swedish Masters||Eric Pang||21–9, 16–21, 21–18||Winner|
|2013||Austrian International||Riichi Takeshita||21–19, 21–12||Winner|
|2017||Yonex / K&D Graphics International||Kevin Cordon||21–7, 21–15||Winner|
|2017||Belgian International||Lee Cheuk Yiu||21–14, 21–18||Winner|
|2017||Czech Open||Thomas Rouxel||21–8, 21–14||Winner|
|2018||Vietnam International||Goh Giap Chin||21–9, 21–15||Winner|
On 7 April 2016, Momota admitted visiting an illegal casino in Tokyo after casino staff reported him gambling there "frequently". In a board meeting, it was revealed that he gambled away 0.5 million yen during 6 visits to the casino with his teammate, Kenichi Tago, who spent 10 million yen after 60 visits to various casinos. The Nippon Badminton Association secretary general Kinji Zeniya said it would “probably be impossible” for Momota to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics, with frequent gambling being punishable by law with a prison sentence of up to 3 years. He was banned from playing until late 2017 for this.
- Junior level
|Asian Junior Championships||RR||QF||G|
|World Junior Championships||5th||5th||S|
- Senior level
- Junior level
|Asian Junior Championships||4R (BS)
|World Junior Championships||3R (BS)
- Senior level
|BWF Superseries / Grand Prix||BWF World Tour|
|Swiss Open||A||QF||A||NH||A||QF ('18)|
|German Open||A||2R||3R||w/d||A||QF||W||NH||W ('19)|
|All England Open||A||QF||QF||QF||A||W||A||QF||W ('19)|
|India Open||A||1R||1R||2R||W||A||NH||Q||W ('16)|
|Malaysia Open||A||QF||QF||2R||A||F||2R||NH||F ('18)|
|Singapore Open||A||QF||1R||W||w/d||A||W||NH||W ('15, '19)|
|Malaysia Masters||A||2R||A||1R||W||W ('20)|
|Australian Open||A||3R||QF||2R||A||NH||QF ('14)|
|Korea Masters||2R||A||NH||2R ('10)|
|Indonesia Masters||A||1R||A||NH||A||F||w/d||F ('19)|
|Indonesia Open||A||1R||W||A||W||2R||NH||W ('15, '18)|
|Canadian Open||A||2R||3R||w/d||A||F||A||NH||F ('17)|
|U.S. Open||A||SF||A||NH||SF ('13)|
|Korea Open||A||2R||SF||A||QF||W||NH||W ('19)|
|Vietnam Open||A||QF||A||NH||QF ('12)|
|China Open||A||1R||SF||QF||2R||A||F||W||NH||W ('19)|
|Japan Open||A||2R||1R||2R||A||W||W||NH||W ('18, '19)|
|Dutch Open||A||W||A||NH||W ('17)|
|Denmark Open||A||1R||2R||QF||A||W||W||w/d||W ('18, '19)|
|French Open||A||1R||SF||2R||A||SF||QF||NH||SF ('14, '18)|
|Macau Open||A||2R||1R||2R||A||W||A||NH||W ('17)|
|Fuzhou China Open||A||QF||A||W||W||NH||W ('18, '19)|
|Hong Kong Open||A||1R||1R||2R||A||SF||w/d||NH||SF ('18)|
|Superseries / Tour Finals||DNQ||RR||W||DNQ||F||W||DNQ||W ('15, '19)|
Record against selected opponents
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- "全英赛日本队强势崛起 中国衰落印尼丹韩有特点". www.sohu.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- "Japan's Kento Momota tops men's singles ranking for the first time". www.olympicchannel.com. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- Etchells, Daniel (16 January 2019). "Top seed Momota sent packing by compatriot Nishimoto in first round of BWF Malaysia Masters". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Morgan, Liam (27 January 2019). "Antonsen stuns world champion Momota to clinch first major title at BWF Indonesia Masters". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Badminton: Momota, Yamaguchi win as Japan dominates German Open". kyodonews.net. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Kento Momota wins historic first All England Open title". www.japantimes.co.jp. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Momota hails 'new badminton generation' after Japan double". sports.yahoo.com. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Palar, Sanjeev (25 August 2019). "Unbeatable Kento Momota and superb PV Sindhu clinch 2019 Badminton World Championships crown". www.olympicchannel.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Etchells, Daniel (20 October 2019). "Momota and Tai seal defence of titles at BWF Denmark Open". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Palar, Sanjeev (15 December 2019). "Kento Momota wins 11th title of 2019 as Chen Yufei takes women's crown at World Tour Finals". www.olympicchannel.com. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- "World No. 1 Kento Momota named BWF Player of the Year". www.japantimes.co.jp. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "Vote for the champions 2019: poll now open". www.aipsmedia.com. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
- "Kento Momota advances to Malaysia Masters semis". www.japantimes.co.jp. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- "Momota to face Axelsen in Malaysia Masters final". www.channelnewsasia.com. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- "Momota shows class en route to beating Axelsen in men's singles final". www.thestar.com.my. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- "Badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota slightly injured in crash in Malaysia; driver dies". www.japantimes.co.jp. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- "Japan to skip Thailand Open as Momota tests positive for COVID-19". The Japan Times. Agence France-Presse; Jiji Press. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- "No. 1 Kento Momota upset at All England Open". www.japantimes.co.jp. 20 March 2021. Archived from the original on 23 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
- Alleyne, Gayle (19 March 2017). "BWF Launches New Events Structure". bwfbadminton.com. Badminton World Federation. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- Sukumar, Dev (10 January 2018). "Action-Packed Season Ahead!". bwfbadminton.com. Badminton World Federation. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- "BWF Launches Super Series". Badminton Australia. 15 December 2006. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007.
- "Yonex All England Elevated To BWF Premier Super Series Event". www.ibadmintonstore.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "バドミントン男子・桃田賢斗、田児賢一 賭博行為について会見" (in Japanese). 8 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Japan ace Momota 'regrets betrayal' as possible Rio ban looms". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- "Badminton stars Momota, Tago admit visiting illegal casinos". The Japan Times Online. 7 April 2016. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Kento Momota gambles with Rio Olympic berth after casino visit". The Indian Express. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Japan badminton ace Kento Momota facing Rio chop over casino visit". France 24. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "S'pore Open men's champ axed from tournament". TODAYonline. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Kento Momota Head to Head". bwf.tournamentsoftware.com. Retrieved 23 March 2021.