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Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by visor, May 12, 2020.
I think Momota in 2
The more days pass the more obvious it is just how disastrous the OG tournament has been for Momota. He pretty much lost his chance at becoming a legend of the sport. Losing in the group stage was embarrassing. He'll be almost 30 by the time Paris comes around and will have many more challengers. Very sad to realize it.
I completely disagree. He is already a legend in the sport. You don't need to win the Olympics to prove you are a legend. Else we would only have the Olympics.
Badminton has its own World Championships and ongoing tournaments. Yes Olympics is special but you don't need that to prove you are a legend.
Embarrassing? Not at all for me. It was sad yes, it was disappointing yes (for himself and for his fans) but no where near an ounce of embarrassing as we already know what he went threw before that.
There is only one way for Momota to prove that he is back at his best: he has to beat Viktor Axelsen again! Then no one will doubt his return to form.
World Number 1 ? Check
Most dominant Year Ever? Check
World Championships ? Check
All England Championships ? Check
Super Series Premier ? Check
Super Series Finals? Check
Beating Every nation's MS 1 in a Team Competition(Thomas Coupe 2018) ? Check
Yup, a legend in every sense of the word.
Some might argue his peak Level which he displayed in World Championships 2019 might be THE highest ever. That's debatable and disputable, but even peak level is checked.
Everyone has the right to consider whoever they want to be a legend. My legend is CTC (for personal reasons) but I doubt anyone else will say the same.
Realistically, when it comes to the general opinion and the records, an Olympic medal (any kind) would have greatly help to seal the legacy of Kento Momota. Yes, he dominated the sport for 2 years and yes, he won 2 WC titles. That is outstanding for us, fans of badminton. But is it enough to say he is a legend among the already established legends in the book of records when kids will talk about former players in 20 years?
I see CL, LD, LCW (no major title but number 1 for a record of weeks and plenty of titles - 3 silver OG medals too), TH and even VA now can be a serious contender to the title of legend. I know a lot of you guys hate VA just because he has a bad H2H record and other users still consider him on par with KM or better (just like LZJ took a lot of heat from the KM fans for no reasons just because he beat KM once and some claimed he was the future of the sport). But the reality is that VA earned 2 Olympic medals, including a gold and also 1 WC title. In 20 years, you can bring the H2H with KM on the table but I doubt it will matter much, especially if VA goes on winning more major titles.
The career of KM is not finished though. But he'll need to accomplish more (may be no OG but more dominating years?) to be a legend for the general opinion/public. Free to anyone on a personal level to consider him the GOAT already or anything else including a legend. But compare him to other player's achievement too sometimes to keep things in perspective. Because seeing how such an amazing player like KM "failed" (it might not be his direct fault, but it is still a failure) at the OG, it gives an idea of the level (physical, technical, strategical and mental) needed to even just medal once during this event. You can only medal 2 times every 10 years at the OG VS 10 times a decade for the WC. For every 10 WC champions there are only 2 Olympic champions. The OG consecration is rarer and still considered the absolute title in most of the sports for the public opinion.
It would be nice if KM could medal in Paris and get a few more WC titles by then.
How can one pretend to forget Axelsen's 0-14 Head 2 Head against Momota.
20 years ahead, when kids will look at the medalists of the OG, will the H2H of VA against KM will be displayed next to his gold and bronze medals?
For example, the other way around, does the fact KM dominates VA makes KM's WC titles any better? KM beat everyone on these events so we don't care if he beat the gold medalist of Tokyo for example, what matters is he won 2 WC titles which makes him the best player of theses tournaments. Some will argue VA was injured in 2019 and was not there too then, but sorry it does not matter, KM was there and won. It's his name on the cup. Most people even forgot VA was injured in 2019 for example and might just think he was beaten again by KM.
When it comes to legacy, what matters most is the titles you get, not against whom or whom cannot beat you / can beat you. It's how many times your name is engraved on the biggest cup.
CL has a 14 - 5 H2H record against VA, but what will be remembered from the final of Tokyo? Who won or who has a better H2H?
That's just what I believe the general opinion will think/perceive when it comes to players' status regarding their legacy. For fans of the sport/a certain player it can be very different. Again, I think KM need a medal at the OG and/or more achievements to seal his legendary status towards the sport/public.
On a personal level, given the hardships he went through, I do see things differently, but that does not mean he hold the status of undisputed legend among everyone. Ask hardcore fans of LCW if LD is a legend/the GOAT? They just cannot say no, no matter LCW's achievements on the Tour for a decade. LD will always come first.
If Momota beats Axelsen five or six times more but doesn't win any more big titles(Major championships) and Axelsen ends up having a 0-20 H2H against Momota, i think the Historians will always bring up the fact that Axelsen couldn't beat Momota-San a single time in their 20 odd meetings and that Momota absolutely tossed Axelsen aside like a ragged doll, every single time.
Let's agree to disagree on the definition of Legend, here. Why? Because I think both Axelsen and Momota are the legend of the sports and Top 10 Men's Singles Players of All time. I personally put them on a similar spot, as of now, simply because of Momota's total annihilation of Axelsen every single time they played.
That's okay, I totally agree with disagreeing (no need to bump the font one size higher as to make a point).
Just saying, but in short, you are saying beating VA is an achievement worthy of an Olympic medal.
Ohhh the level (physical, technical, strategical and mental) of Kevin Cordon to finish 4th. Gives you an idea of the level! Yeah right!
@LenaicM Can we be a bit realistic here? Here is some realistic considerations for you. Yes you need to be at a good level physically, technically, strategically and mentally. But if we look at this Olympics in particular, a Kevin Cordon was able to finish 4th, yes he played amazingly but that is by his modest standards. This shows that the level of this Olympics which was quite low.
Axelsen absolutely walked over Chen Long and SYQ. Chen Long swiftly beat Ginting who was able to get rid of Antonsen.
Do you really think your 'as if' legend, CTC, was playing his best badminton? For me not at all, I've seen a much better CTC play Axelsen.
By that I am taking nothing from Axelsen because he absolutely destroyed everyone. He alone was on an acceptable level.
So yeah while you need to be at a good level (physical, technical, strategical and mental) in the Olympics. It is not to be considered a benchmark especially especially especially this Olympics.
If you argue that this Olympics is where everyone were at their best (physical, technical, strategical and mental) - then you are absolutely deluded. Think of the effect of Covid-19, think of the lack of tournaments and so on.
I'm sorry but do not put words in the mouth of LCW fans. LCW is an absolute legend and he is the embodiment of badminton. For me it is only a matter of Lin Dan getting the better of him. And even if Lin Dan has the gold in Olympics and silver in Olympics for LCW means nothing - he is still considered the absolute legend. Some even consider him to be more of a legend than Lin Dan.
So I am not taking anything from Axelsen - he walked over everyone. And I can ensure you that for now, Axelsen is the most complete player in MS. He can rally for a long time, he has nukes of smashes, he has great reach and his agility is amazing. The only players who can challenge him for now is a beast mode Ginting and a revigorated SYQ and Antonsen.
Now here me out.
Even though Axelsen has won the OG, while he can be considered as a legend to some now, in 20 years unless he accomplish more stuff - he will still not be recognised much. Why? Because of LCW and Lin Dan! These two will always outshine him. Oh yes because Lin Dan won two OGs and 5 WC. Well I wonder why LCW would still be considered more of a legend? He didn't win any OG! Use your brain here.
The same goes for Momota. For now he can be considered as a legend to some now, but in 20 years he will be outshone by Lin Dan and LCW. If he wants to be remembered despite these two, he will indeed need to accomplish a lot more. And that's the same for Axelsen.
This can turn into a battle of words - GOAT vs Legends. If that's the case then the GOATs would be LCW and Lin Dan and the legends you will have Momota, Axelsen, Taufik etc etc.
Let's hope that Momota can really get back on his feet and find his true level.
you are saying beating VA 20 times without losing isn't an achievement worthy of an Olympic medal.
Don't ask me to use my brain or call me deluded just because you have an opinion. First, I never established a hierarchy among the legends of the sport but only highlighted how an OG medal helps cementing the legacy, or what a player accomplished besides the OG medal, in the sport.
These Olympics were different, but it still asked, more than ever, for athletes to pull their "A" games. There is still a champion at the end of the tournament and that's who will be remembered. LD won a WC title when LCW got injured. People won't necessarily focus or know about that when reading who won that title or that LD won 5 WC titles.
Again, read my post, I mainly talk about legacy and general/public opinion or perception. The names of the winners don't always come up with an explanation (i.e. VA Gold medalist with a bad head-to-head record against Momota earned in a very poor field of untrained players due to covid 19).
You know nothing about my opinions and have no idea judging by what you wrote about LCW. I rarely bring them up on here, all my previous posts reflect on what people/the mass would say/think years ahead. Not me. There is a distinction to be made between what one thinks and what the norms of the sport establish or recognize.
It was great to have a conversation with you, LenaicM, where we really pushed each other's thought-work to the limit.
And you are being so condescending about KC... He had the right draw for him, granted. But don't think for a minute he dit not perform on par with the very best. It might be because he mentally had literally no pressure but he managed to bring the best of himself, despite recently losing his brother, on a given tournament (not the first time he pulls some top performances if you check his H2H history). It's not because he is not generally recognized that KC cannot be considered a very good player at times and the level of these Olympics brought down because of his performances in Tokyo.
It is always running in circles with you. I won't argue.
Ok I shouldn't have said use your brain.
But the deluded part came with a big 'if'.
I won't reply any further. You are entitled to think what you want. And I have already covered legacy except without using fancy words like you.
I would not say I am running in circle but ok, I agree to disagree. I have no problems discussing a topic despite having different point of views.
Most people sympathise with Momota’s plight over the last year-and-a-half; accordingly, articles have tended to focus on badminton’s lack of results as a whole, rather than on Momota’s performance. I believe that his eyesight is fully restored, and that his physical condition is fine. However, in Momota’s case, being ‘match-fit’ is of paramount importance (he obviously wasn’t, and he knew it) and, to compound matters, the lack of adequate preparation in the run-up to the Olympics led to a mental meltdown. Head coach Park, in his post-Olympic press conference clearly stated that he was worried when he saw the draw, sensing that Momota would feel uncomfortable against a tall ‘attacking’ player. According to PJB, the player who lost against Heo Kwanghee on July 28 was not the Momota he knew.
Momota has not appeared in public since his loss. But a translation of his post-match interview (source: Badminton Spirit <https://www.badspi.jp/202107282300-2/>) runs as follows:
Q: I got the impression that your clears were intercepted too much. What is your take on this?
Momota: I was pressured by my opponent’s power shots, and wanting to push him to the back of the court as at the earliest opportunity, my clears became low. I knew that this was part of my opponent’s plan, but I did not have the courage or ability to adjust during the game and change the height.
Q: Is the fact that you were unable to adjust attributable to the Olympics being a special stage?
Momota: Well, I did not want to lose. I wanted to win so badly that there were parts of the game where I ended up just spinning my wheels.
Q: There were many sections in the match where your opponent seemed to be reading your game. Did you feel that your play-style had been researched?
Momota: I would say that rather than being read, I had no leeway and played an inhibited game. Rather than being read, there was no other place I could hit the shuttle.
Q: In the interview given immediately after the match you stated that you were “not able to play with confidence”. What is the reason for this?
Momota: Halfway through the game I was no longer able to respond to my opponent’s power shots calmly, and started to become timid.
Q: It seems as though you got stuck in a losing pattern that we have seen before. What plan did you have to counter this losing pattern, and why was it not successful on this occasion?
Momota: My image was to avoid being pressured by an opponent who was keen to break off rallies and to avoid being drawn into a random hitting game, where I could not control the pace. I knew what I had to do, but … the fact that I was ‘hit at’, rather than ‘confidently letting my opponent hit his shots’, shows my emotional weakness.
Q: You mentioned that many people supported you and helped you through difficult times. Please convey your thoughts to them.
Momota: I was unable to attain a good result, but many things happened, including painful things. Nevertheless, the fact that I was able to return to the court, and play matches on the stage of my dreams is due to many people. I would really like to thank everybody.
Q: Do you have any idea about the future?
Momota: At the moment I am not thinking about it.
Q: It turned out to be a short Olympics. What were your feelings at the moment you knew it was over?
Momota: Ah, it’s over. I still wanted to continue being part of the Olympics and to continue feeling this tension.
Although not unexpected, it is incredibly sad how events have turned out for Momota. Given his current condition I think that Momota may do worse than to take a leaf from 2017, and start playing in slightly lower tier tournaments (maybe 300 or 500 level) so as to, 1) re-adjust and, 2) take some of the pressure off himself. Provided he has the motivation, he should be able to regain his form.