Photo credit: Tang Shi

When Kento Momota played his third round match against Anders Antonsen, the Danish youngster started explosively and it was 6-0 for the Dane before Momota scored his first point. Antonsen won first game quite comfortable. Today Momota was down 0-5 against unseeded Daren Liew. Was this going to be Liew’s big day?

No doubt that Japan’s recent winner of the Asian Championships, Kento Momota, was the big favorite to win the second men’s single semifinal against Daren Liew, the unseeded surprise from Malaysia. But the Japanese favorite was off to a shaky start that lead the thoughts to his match against Danish Antonsen few days ago, which wasn’t an easy walk in the park.

Daren Liew seemed a little unimpressed and relaxed – after all, nobody expected he would make it this far so the job was already very well done. At the same time he was still having some problems with his ankle, which he hurt in his dramatic quarterfinal against another Japanese, Kanta Tsuneyama.

Japanese comeback

Momota did however come back into the match and the two players were still even at 13-13 but then Daren Liew couldn’t keep up pace anymore. Momota began showing why he is one of the biggest favorites to take the World Championship title and won first game 21-16.

And it was a Japanese turbo engine we saw in second game while the Malaysian suffered from his ankle pain. At the same time Liew was probably more than satisfied just being in the semifinal, having surprised everyone and having won a bronze medal. From 3-3 Momota didn’t show any mercy. At interval it was 11-4 and the match was closed with an impressive 10-point streak from the Japanese who is in his first ever World Championship final after winning 21-5.

The celebrations from Momota were limited as both he and Liew knew it was an expected result, and he also showed a fair respect to his opponent who couldn’t deliver competitive resistance with his injured ankle.

Match stats:
Kento Momota vs. Daren Liew
Total points: 63
Length of match: 37 min
Points per minute: 1.70
Seconds per point:  35.24 sec


You can see the results of all the semifinals here


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