World number one Japanese badminton star Momota hurt, van driver killed in MEX crash

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13: A van driver was killed and four passengers, including Japanese badminton star Kento Momota, were slightly injured after the vehicle was involved in a collision with a lorry at Km13.7 of the Maju Expressway (MEX) at about 4.40am today.

The van, driven by Bavan Nageswarau, was on its way to KL International Airport when it crashed into the lorry, which was said to be moving slowly.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Norazam Khamis said Bavan, who was pinned to his seat, died at the scene.

Besides Momota, who is current world champion and world No. 1, the other passengers were Hirayama Yu, Morimoto Arkifuki and English badminton player William Thomas.

Norazam said the injured were taken to Putrajaya Hospital for treatment. Bavan’s body was also taken to the same hospital.

He said 10 personnel from the Serdang Fire and Rescue Station went to the scene just before 5am.

Yesterday, Momota won the Malaysia Masters men’s singles title at the Axiata Arena here, his first at the prestigious tournament after competing in it for many years.

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

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