Momota to lead challenge for 2020 Malaysia Masters

Kento Momota has been in searing form since his return to the sport after completing a 12-month ban. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: World No 1 men’s singles shuttler Kento Momota will be among the top players in action at the Malaysia Masters to be held at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil from Jan 7-12.

The 25-year-old, who clinched 11 titles this year, is the hot favourite to win next season’s opening tournament which offers a cash prize of RM1.637 million.

The Japanese player’s task has been made easier with the absence of China ace Lin Dan who chose to skip the event.

Momota, who is making his second appearance in the tournament, is expected to take on former Commonwealth Games winner, Kashyap Parupalli of India in the opening round.

Momota enjoyed an outstanding season winning 11 tournaments which includes defending the world and Asian titles, apart from bagging the prestigious All-England championship.

His stellar year earned him the Badminton World Federation’s Player of the Year award.

Other top players appearing in the tournament are world No 2, Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan, world number three, Chen Long of China and two Danish players – Anders Antonsen and Viktor Axelsen, who are currently world No 4 and 5 respectively.