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Japan's world No. 1 Momota tests positive for coronavirus

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    Kyodo News

Tokyo, Japan   /   Mon, January 4, 2021   /   09:15 am
Japan's world No. 1 Momota tests positive for coronavirus Japan's Kento Momota eyes a return against Denmark's Viktor Axelsen during their men's singles final match at the Malaysia Open badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 12, 2020. (AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

Men's world No. 1 badminton player Kento Momota has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but has exhibited no symptoms, the Nippon Badminton Association announced Sunday.

Momota and the rest of the Japan national team assembled at Tokyo's National Training Center on Saturday ahead of two weeks of tournaments in Thailand starting from Jan. 12.

The delegation underwent polymerase chain reaction testing at Narita airport prior to its planned departure on Sunday. Although no other members of the delegation tested positive, the federation canceled the trip.

Last January, Momota opened what was to be the Olympic year with a victory at the Malaysia Masters. Early the next morning, however, he suffered injuries when the van he was riding in was involved in a fatal crash.

He did not return to competition until Japan's national championships in December, when he won his third straight men's singles title. The Yonex Thailand Open was to be his first competition abroad in a year.