Kento Momota’s injuries not serious, says Malaysian Health Minister

PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) — CT scans done on world number one men’s singles shuttler Kento Momota and three others, who were hurt in a road crash yesterday, showed their injuries are not serious, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

“All of them are expected to be discharged (from the Putrajaya Hospital) soon as there are no serious injuries,” he told the media after visiting them at the hospital with Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka.

In the 4.40am incident, Momota and the three others were heading to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in a van when it crashed into a slow-moving lorry at KM 13.7 of the Maju Expressway (MEX).

The van driver B Nageswarau, 24, who was pinned to his seat, died at the scene. His body was also sent to the Putrajaya Hospital.

Besides Momota, 25, the current world champion, the other passengers were assistant coach  Yu Hirayama, 35,  physiotherapist Morimoto Akifumi, 42, and William Thomas, 30, a technical officer of the Badminton World Federation.

Japan’s Kento Momota poses with his medal after winning the men’s singles final match during the awards presentation at the Malaysia Open badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AP

Momota, who is on a league of his own, won the Malaysia Masters men’s singles title at the Axiata Arena, his first at the prestigious tournament.

He defeated former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the final.

Serdang Police Chief ACP Ismadi Borhan at a press conference said Momota suffered a broken nose, cuts on his lips that required stitches and also some other facial injuries.

He said Hirayama sustained facial injuries and injured her right leg while Akifumi suffered a broken hand.

Thomas suffered leg injuries and also needed seven stitches on his head, he added.

Putrajaya Hospital Director Datuk Dr Nora’i Mohd Said said Momota and the three others would undergo CT scans and other related examinations for full diagnosis.

She said they suffered abrasion wounds and were all warded and in stable condition at the hospital.

She added that some of them immediately required dressing of wounds while the others needed stitches.

Oka, meanwhile, thanked the Malaysian authorities for the support.

“We are grateful for the support given by the Malaysian hospital to the Japanese players,” he said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, who is also a former patron of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), also visited Momota and his fellow passengers.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman also visited them followed by BAM President Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria.