By Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) - World number one badminton player Kento Momota, 26, was wounded when the van carrying him and three other passengers crashed into a lorry near the Malaysian capital early Monday, local media reported.
He suffered a broken nose and sustained cuts on his lips that required stitches along with some other facial injuries, according to state-run Bernama news agency.
The driver of the van, identified as B. Nageswarau, 24, was killed at the scene as the vehicle was heading toward the Kuala Lumpur International Airport following the 2020 Malaysia Masters badminton tournament, the report said citing Norazam Khamis, director of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department.
Momota, the world No. 1 men's badminton player from Japan, won the tournament took place at the Axiata Arena between Jan. 7-12.
Other passengers were Japanese assistant coach Yu Hirayama, 35, physiotherapist Morimoto Akifumi, 42, and Britain's William Thomas, 30, a technical officer of the Badminton World Federation, it added.
"The victim's body and all the injured were sent to the Putrajaya Hospital," Khamis said.
Momota has been crowned champion in several primary badminton tournaments including two World Championships titles, two Asian Championships titles, and one All England title.
Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who visited the injured victims at the hospital, said they were monitoring their treatment "very closely" and noted: "So far all the four are recovering well."
"We will ensure all four will get the best treatment. We are relieved to hear that they are in stable condition," he said.