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Kento Momota wins second straight title at national championships

World No. 1 Kento Momota won his second straight badminton national championship after defeating Kenta Nishimoto in the men’s singles final on Sunday.

The two-time reigning world champion Momota earned his third national crown, cruising past Nishimoto 21-14, 21-12 at Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo in a rematch of last year’s final.

“Because I was able to seize a title I wanted to claim, I will take confidence from this as Japan’s ace when I compete against the world,” said Momota, who did not drop a game in any of his five matches.

In other gold medal matches, former world No. 1 Nozomi Okuhara beat Aya Ohori 22-20, 21-4 to win her first women’s singles title in four years.

Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe earned their second national title, rallying from a game down against Keigo Sonoda and Takeshi Kamura to collect an 11-21, 21-18, 21-8 win in the men’s doubles final.

Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto also came from behind in the women’s doubles final to end Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota’s bid for a third straight title.

Nagahara and Matsumoto, the two-time reigning women’s doubles world champions, claimed their maiden national championship with a 10-21, 21-15, 21-8 win.

Watanabe and Arisa Higashino won their third straight mixed doubles gold, beating Yujiro Nishikawa and Saori Ozaki 21-13, 21-15.