Momota gambles with Olympic berth after casino visit

  • Reuters
  • Updated: Apr 07, 2016 18:12 IST
Japan's Kento Momota may miss the Olympics if the gambling allegations are proven. (AFP)

Japanese badminton trailblazer Kento Momota is set to miss the Rio de Janeiro Olympics later this year after admitting to gambling at an illegal casino, local media reported on Thursday.

The 21-year-old world number four, 65th ranked Kenichi Tago and other team mates from their domestic Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp sides said they wagered at the Tokyo casino, which had since closed after police raids, Kyodo News reported.

Momota became the first Japanese to win the Badminton World Federation Super Series Masters Final in December and also landed the Asian nation a first men’s singles world championship medal when he claimed bronze in Jakarta last August.

Nippon Badminton Association secretary general Kinji Zeniya told Kyodo it would “probably be impossible” for the former world junior champion to compete at the Aug. 5-21 Games if the allegations were proven.

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