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AFP
January 12, 2020

Kento Momota to face Axelsen in Malaysia Masters final

Sports

AFP
January 12, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: World number one Kento Momota is through to the Malaysia Masters final after defeating homegrown hopeful Lee Zii Jia 21-10, 21-19 on Saturday.

Momota will face Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, who was equally impressive in his 21-14, 21-18 win over Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Kah Long.

“It is a good start for the new year,” the Japanese star told reporters after the match.

“My opponent played well with a home ground advantage.”

Lee conceded Momota’s superior form and even claimed the reigning world champion was only playing at half capacity in the 43-minute win.

“I noticed he wasn’t as serious about the match. He was clearly just out to enjoy himself,” Lee said.

But Momota seemed clinical from start to finish, using deceptive shots and ferocious speed to keep the Malaysian flat-footed.

Momota is widely expected to clinch gold at home in July’s Tokyo Olympics. He missed out on the Rio Olympics four years ago due to a gambling suspension.