World No. 1 Kento Momota and the entire Japanese team have cancelled their participation from the tournaments in Thailand.
Kento Momota tested positive in a Covid-19 PCR test that was taken today at the Narita International Airport, Japan; he and the rest of the Japanese team was scheduled to depart for Thailand today.
The Japanese team, including Momota, assembled at the National Training Centre in Kita-ku, Japan on Saturday as per reports from NHK. The Nippon Badminton Association (NBA) has decided to withdraw their entire team as all the players had been in close contact with one another.
The withdrawal from the three tournaments in Thailand, however, might not be the worst news for the Japanese team as none of the tournaments will account for Olympic qualification points. The Chinese Badminton Association had also withdrawn their entire team from the tournaments a few days back due to health and safety concerns.
The badminton world had their eyes on Momota as Thailand would have marked the return of the world No. 1 in the international scene after his unfortunate car accident last year. He had also won the All Japan Championships just a week ago.
The next major international tournaments which might see Momota’s come back to the court are the Yonex Swiss Open ( 2 March 2021), the Yonex German Open (9 March 2021) and the All England Championships ( 17 March 2021).