THE one-year postponement of the Olympic Games due to Covid-19 has given Japan’s Kento Momota an advantage in his bid to win the men’s singles gold.
This was stated by former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei as Momota makes a comeback from a tragic car accident.
According to Chong Wei, the one-year delay of the Tokyo Games will greatly benefit Momota in his effort to reach his peak again.
After winning the Malaysia Masters title in January, Momota was involved in a road accident that killed his driver (while on the way to KLIA) and he later had to undergo surgery in Japan after complaining of double vision on his first day of court training.
Momota has not played competitive badminton since lifting the title in Kuala Lumpur, and with tournaments suspended until July, it remains to be seen if he can return to his best.
“Nobody is in favour of this (Olympics) postponement but it had to be done.
“Surely it will serve as an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others.
“Personally, I believe Momota will be the man to beat, despite his being involved in an accident and had to undergo surgery.
“With tournaments suspended, he has all the time in the world to rest and to get back to his best,” Chong Wei told Timesport yesterday.
The retired Chong Wei fears that ageing players, including his former archrival, Lin Dan of China, may no longer stand a chance at the Olympics.
“As someone who has played in the Olympics at the age of 34, I know what it’s like.
“I think it’s going to be really difficult for someone like Lin Dan. In fact, his compatriot, Chen Long (defending champion) has also dipped in form.
“My bet is younger players like Indonesia’s Anthony (Sinisuka) Ginting, Jonatan Christie, Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and even our very own Lee Zii Jia, will rise to the occasion,” added Chong Wei, who hung up his racquet mid-last year.
Chong Wei, who will be the Chef-de-Mission for the Tokyo Games, urged Malaysians to abide by the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain the deadly coronavirus.
“We can talk about so many things right now, but we can only achieve them if we win this battle. To do that we need to stay safe and at home.
“We, Malaysians, are not the only ones facing this threat but the whole world.
“We need to work together and come out of this. Every little help counts,” he said.