Hours after winning his first title in Malaysia, world No 1 Kento Momota of Japan survived a road accident along the Maju Expressway (MEX) this morning (Monday) at about 4.45 am while on the way to the airport.
The Japanese, together with assistant coach Hirayama Yu and team physiotherapist Morimoto Akfumi together with Badminton World Federation (BWF) technical official identified as William Thomas of England were on the way to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) when the accident happened.
Van driver N. Bavan, 25, was killed on the spot when the vehicle crashed into the 30-tonne lorry.
Momota, on Sunday, won his first-ever title on Malaysian soil when he beat Denmark’s former world champion Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11 in the men’s singles at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil.
He was en-route to Jakarta for the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters, which offers USD400,000 in prize money. Momota is the top seed in Jakarta and is scheduled to play compatriot Kanta Tsuneyama in the first round.
The Daihatsu Indonesia Masters is the second tournament on the World Tour this year after the Perodua Malaysia Masters. RIZAL ABDULLAH