Momota Covid-19 positive, Japan pull out of Thailand tournaments

Bangkok, January 3 (IANS): Japan have withdrawn their singles and doubles players who were on their way to Thailand for the two Thailand Open Super 1000 tournaments after men's singles world no 1 Kento Momota tested positive for Covid-19.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement that Momota had undergone a mandatory RT-PCR test along with the rest of the team at the Narita Airport in Tokyo en route to Thailand capital Bangkok. The squad was set to leave for the city on Sunday.

"Nippon Badminton Association (NBA) has subsequently withdrawn all its singles and doubles players from the Yonex Thailand Open (January 12-17, 2021) and Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24, 2021)," said the BWF.

"The entire Japanese team was due to fly out to Bangkok, Thailand for the badminton tournaments on the evening of January 3. Momota had gathered with the rest of the national squad a day earlier at the National Training Centre at Kita, Tokyo on January 2."

The Asian leg of the BWF World Tour is set to restart after the pandemic-induced break with the two Super 100 events and the BWF World Tour Finals, which is set to be held form January 27 to 31. The BWF said that all tournaments will proceed as planned.