King Kento triumphs in Birmingham (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Momota: Do I have to say my weakness?
Date: 3/21/2019 1:33 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Kento Momota, or as fans call him ‘King Kento’, won the All England Open 2019, for the first time. The 2018 World Champion faced the 2017 World Champion in Viktor Axelsen, in what was a fantastic Men’s Singles final. 

There was huge pressure on both finalists. The whole of Europe was behind Axelsen, having waited for a European All England Men’s Singles winner for 20 years. Peter Gade, who spoke with us, was the last winner in 1999. Gade said

- It’s been 20 years, so it’s about time. Viktor has already won the World Championships, so now he is aiming for the All England title. He’s against Momota, which will be a tough match, but it’s possible and I wish him the best of luck.  

And for Momota, the All England is also a chance to add to another major title to his collection in his road to Tokyo 2020.

Speaking with Momota after his win, we reminisced witnessing his first appearances at senior level. In particular in the 2014 All England Open, when still a teenager, facing Lee Chong Wei in the quarter-finals.

That day he lost, but he showed the world his talent, and with a few approving glances from Lee Chong Wei, what a promising future he has. 

Fast forward 5 years to 2019, Momota win the All England title in brilliant style. Asking him about how far he has come during this time, he responds

- 5 years ago when I faced Lee Chong Wei, I really felt that this is the world level. And today I managed to win, but I am still very far from someone to be called legendary. I am going to do my best every match and to improve myself. 

This really shows the level of respect Momota has for what stars of the game have achieved before him. And his awareness of the hard work needed to get to the level. 

Two reigning champs fall

Any weaknesses?

When watching him play like he did through All England week, he looks like the complete player. We asked Momota whether he thinks he has any weaknesses. Momota smirked and then said 

- Do I have to say my weakness?

After lightly insisting he should tell us, Momota responded

- Having played with Viktor, I really felt his smashing power. I may not be able to have the same kind of angle, but I am going to improve my smash to be more powerful. 

Watch the full video interview here
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