Two-time world champion Kento Momota is on his way home to Japan after being released from hospital on Tuesday night.
The Japanese world No.1, along with team members Morimoto Akifumi (physiotherapist) and Hirayama Yu (assistant coach), were declared fit to fly by doctors at the Putrajaya Hospital in Malaysia after being treated for injuries suffered in a road accident on Monday.
They were checked-in at a local hotel and later escorted via the VVIP channel to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning. Their flight to Tokyo departed at 9.40am local time.
Hawk-Eye system operator William Thomas, another passenger hurt in the accident, has also been given the all-clear and is expected to fly back to the UK on Wednesday night.
All four of them were in transit from their hotel to the airport when the accident happened, hours after Momota won the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2020.
Momota sustained multiple laceration wounds to the face plus right maxillary sinus and nasal bone fracture.
Unfortunately, the driver, N Bavan, 24, lost his life in the crash.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) Secretary General Thomas Lund had expressed his sympathy on Monday.
“The BWF would like to extend its condolences to the driver’s family,” he said.
The virtual space was flooded with “get well soon” messages for the injured after news of the mishap broke.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach also wished Momota a swift recovery.
“Looking forward to seeing Kento in action at home at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” Bach’s message on the IOC’s Twitter account read.
“Wishing Kento Momota and his colleagues a swift recovery from the accident. Looking forward to seeing Kento in action at home at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”
– IOC President Thomas Bach @bwfmedia @tokyo2020 @momota_kento pic.twitter.com/ICOPV9BNHs
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) January 14, 2020
The 25-year-old is Japan’s biggest hope to become the country’s first ever singles gold medallist at the Summer Games.
Momota is expected to be ready for that mission after Nippon Badminton Association Secretary General and BWF Council Member Kenji Zeniya confirmed yesterday that he would likely return to competition at the Yonex All England Open in March if he “becomes stable physically and mentally”.