Top-ranked Kento Momota of Japan clinched the men's singles title at the Korea Open badminton tournament on Sunday with a win over number two Chou Tien-Chen of Taiwan. The 25-year-old downed Chou 21-19, 21-17 in a final that lasted 53 minutes.
Momota, with over 300 wins under his belt, saw his career descend into controversy in 2016 when he was suspended for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino and was denied a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Japanese star, who was world number two at the time, has since worked his way back to the top and Sunday's win raises his Olympic hopes a year ahead of the Tokyo Games.
In the women's final, China's He Bingjiao defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 18-21, 24-22, 21-17. South Korea dominated the women's doubles, with Kim So-Yeong and Kong Hee-Yong beating compatriots Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 13-21, 21-19, 21-17. Indonesian pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto defeated Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan 21-16, 21-17 to clinch the men's doubles title.
The world number 1 Kento Momota had ended Parupalli Kashyap's impressive run at the Korea Open Super 500 on Saturday. Kashyap, who is a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist had no answers to Momota's precision as the Japanese opened up a 9-5 lead early on. A deceptive return and a body smash gave the Indian a couple of points before the Japanese entered the break with a four-point advantage after a long rally. Kashyap didn't take enough initiative and often hit wide and long to end the energy-sapping rallies. It acted in Momota's favor as he continued to accumulate points, reaching 18-10. Kashyap, who was the last Indian in the fray failed to match up to the Japanese shuttler's speed as Kento Momota soon made it 19-13 and grabbed six match points with a cross-court smash. Kashyap saved one before the Japanese unleashed another accurate return to seal his place in the summit clash.