World champion Momota battles into China Open final

Kento Momota is the reigning world champion. (AFP pic)

SHANGHAI: World champion Kento Momota fought back from a game down to defeat Olympic title-holder Chen Long and reach Sunday’s final of the Fuzhou China Open badminton tournament.

The Japanese world number one will meet Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen in the decider after beating China’s Chen 19-21, 21-17, 21-17.

Top seed Momota is chasing a fourth tournament victory in the BWF World Tour calendar to add to the maiden world title he claimed in August.

But the all-action 24-year-old will have to defeat the fourth seed Chou first.

Chou pulled off a shock in his semi-final on Saturday when he emphatically beat another Chinese player, the second seed Shi Yuqi, 21-11, 21-10.

Shi was clearly not at his best because of injury and required medical treatment during the match.

There was at least something to celebrate for the home crowd in the city of Fuzhou with victory for China’s Chen Yufei in the women’s semifinals.

The fourth seed roared back to see off reigning three-time world champion Carolina Marín of Spain 11-21, 21-15, 21-13.

In Sunday’s final Chen will meet either fellow Chinese He Bingjiao or Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.