KUALA LUMPUR: Japanese shuttler Kento Momota and three others who were injured in a crash on Monday (Jan 13) are recovering well at the Putrajaya Hospital, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said.
It said in a statement that on the advice of doctors, they are to be kept under close supervision at the hospital and would not be discharged on Monday night.
“BAM officers are in constant communication with Japan’s head coach Park Joo Bong and will continue to be stationed at the hospital to assist,” said the statement.
The 25-year-old world number one men’s singles player suffered multiple laceration wounds on the face and right maxillary sinus and nasal bone fracture in the incident involving him, his support staff and a Badminton World Federation Hawkeye assistant.
A van ferrying them to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport crashed into a slow-moving lorry at KM13.7 of the Maju Expressway at about 4.40am.
Besides Momota, the other passengers were assistant coach Yu Hirayama, 35, physiotherapist Morimoto Akifumi, 42, and Hawkeye system operator William Thomas, 30.
The van driver, 24-year-old B Nageswarau, died at the scene.
The accident took place just hours after Momota secured his first victory of the season at the Malaysia Masters by defeating former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the finals.
Former Malaysian badminton ace Lee Chong Wei wished a speedy recovery for Momota, hoping the Japanese player is given the time and space to rest and recuperate.
"I spoke with him, and looking at his condition, I feel sorry. What's more, the crash happened after he won the title and was on his way back to Japan.
"I know all badminton fans are concerned about his situation. Let's pray for Momota to fully recover and be back on the court," he said when met by reporters after visiting Momota at the Putrajaya Hospital.