KUALA LUMPUR – A traffic accident early Monday morning in Malaysia left one dead and three injured, among them badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota, according to police.
The Japanese star was among those who suffered injuries when the van he was traveling in collided with a lorry at about 4:30 am (2030 GMT Sunday) on the Maju Expressway in Kuala Lumpur, Serdang District Police Chief Ismadi Bin Borhan said in a media statement.
The van was on its way to the capital’s airport when it crashed into the lorry – which was moving slowly – killing driver Bavan Nageswarau, according to Norazam Khamis, Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director, state news outlet Bernama reported.
Nageswarau, 24, was pinned to his seat and died at the scene, while Momota, 25, suffered a broken nose, lacerations which required stitches and minor facial injuries, Bin Borhan said.
English badminton player William Thomas, 30, Momota’s coach Morimoto Arkifuki, 42, and physiotherapist Hirayama Yu, 35, were the other injured passengers, the statement read. It added that Thomas required seven stitches to the head and suffered minor injuries in his right thigh and leg.
Bin Borhan said Momota’s physiotherapist suffered injuries to his right leg while his coach fractured a hand. They were all receiving treatment at Putrajaya Hospital, according to police.
The police chief said they would continue investigating the incident.
The accident comes a day after Momota clinched the Malaysia Masters by defeating Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11 in 54 minutes. The Japanese shuttler is the favorite to clinch gold at this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.