Kento Momota, the world’s top-ranked men’s badminton player, was discharged from a Tokyo hospital on Friday, four days after he was injured in a car crash in Malaysia.
Other than three facial lacerations and bruising all over his body that had been diagnosed in Malaysia following the fatal accident early Monday morning, Momota’s examination in Tokyo revealed no other injuries.
In a statement released by his club, Momota vowed to come back strong, so he could repay those who wished him well following the accident.
“Thanks so much to the many people who offered encouragement. Although I will be recuperating, for the time being, I want to repay my debt of gratitude to those who wished me well by earnestly recovering physically and mentally, and competing in a lively fashion as soon as I can,” he said.
Momota has not announced a date for his return to competition, but he is considered a lock to compete in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. The Nippon Badminton Association has indicated Momota is aiming to compete at March’s All England Open in Birmingham.
The player was headed to Kuala Lumpur International Airport Monday morning after winning the Malaysia Masters men’s singles title on Sunday when the van he was riding in collided with a 30-ton truck. The driver of the van was killed.
Momota, who missed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics due to a suspension for illegal gambling, won 11 international meets last year and is hoping to become Japan’s first Olympic badminton gold medalist in men’s singles at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.