Kento Momota (temporary thread)

Discussion in 'Japan Professional Players' started by visor, May 12, 2020.

  1. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Great news for badminton. Somehow he is benefiting from the postponement of the Olympics as he is now fully recovered months after his accident and he can fully focus on his training and goals. He wouldn't have been able to show up at his best if the Olympcis would have stay put.
     
  2. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    i'll go out on a limb and s--t--r--e--t--c--h the definition of... and you heard it here first... karma. :D
     
  3. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    He benefits from it, no doubts. :)

    Question is... how do others will benefit from this too? VA might heal his various injuries he got other the last seasons and come back stronger. CTC seems very hard at work and never really left the Taiwanese training centre since Taiwan wasn't too affected by the covid (in comparison with other countries that is). He seems to train hard off court too. SYQ will hopefully fully heal his ankle and his confidence. And some youngsters might level up (LZJ anyone?). Overall it is good for the sport if everyone shows up at 100%. :)
     
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  4. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Just happened to read this article of Imam Tohari, Momota's coach when he was 14 years old. Was pretty interesting.
    There are 2 parts of the interview, it is in Indonesian so I thought of translating it since he mentioned Kevin in the second part of the interview.

    Just finished with part 1, I tried translating it sentence by sentence so it might sound weird. I didn't even proofread lol. Let me know if there are any mistakes. But hopefully it's enough to be understood. Will do the second part soon..

    Source : https://www.jawapos.com/sports/22/0...ngan-penemu-bakat-kento-momota-imam-tohari-1/


    Special Interview with Imam Tohari, Kento Momota's talent's "discoverer" (1)

    Imam Tohari had led a very interesting career journey. Partnered with Emma Ermawati, Imam had won a bronze medal in World Championships 1997.

    However, his beginning journey as a coach all started in Japan. In 2002, Imam managed Kyushu International University team in Fukuoka. Five years later he got an offer from Tomioka Badminton Club. He became the head coach of a group which also developing young talents from Tomioka Dai-ichi Junior High and Middle School (now named Futaba Future School).

    From that school in Fukushima Prefecture, in 2008, was the first time Imam met Kento Momota. At that time, Momota was just 14 years old. He immediately felt that this boy would be the one that change the history of Japan's badminton.

    His intuition did not miss. Momota was the first Japanese first MS player to become WJC, WC and AE champion.

    Our reporter will talk and find out how Kento Momota, one of the most dominant MS player in the world, was born.
    The interview with the coach who now is with PB Djarum will be divided into two parts. And this is the first fragment.

    - Are you sure that Kento Momota can make a come back after he had the traffic accident last January?
    A : Well, it's like this. When it happened, I contacted him. He said he was okay. I chatted with him when he was in the hospital. He always told me that everything was fine. Momota is a public figure in Japan. Therefore any news about him will be in the newspaper, TV etc. So I headr about this from other source than Momota himself.

    Momota himself always says he is fine, he is fine. It is always like that. The first time he was back to the training (post accident), Momota saw a shadow when he watched the shuttle. How could there be two shuttles? So he went to the hospital again.
    After one or two weeks, he started training like normal.

    After the incident, this is from what I know of his character, I am sure he can still make a come back. So he will start from the bottom to the top. This is the second time (after the illegal gambling in 2016). But the difference this time, he is now at the first in World ranking. So in my opinion, by what I know of his character, he will be able to come back.


    - As for that illegal gambling case was more an attack to the mental. Now, the issue is both physical and mental. In your opinion, how can Momota bounce back and cope with the trauma post accident?
    A : It will definitely affect the mental. There must be a bit of shock. Moreover, at the time of the accident, the driver who died was right in front of him. It could be something that get stuck in mind. Like if he travels overseas, he could feel the trauma when departing or returning. It is a possibility.

    But on the court, and this is only my opinion, I am sure he can come back. Especially he is still World's no.1. I observe, this May Momota should be able to make a come back. Yes in Thomas Cup. But now the tournament get postponed again. We still have no idea when the international events will take place because of the corona virus.


    - What was the impression when hen you first met Momota, in his first year middle schooler?
    A : I felt and even said that this boy would change the history of Japan's Badminton. He had the talent, and he had the character. Japanese people's character are extraordinary. At that time I was very sure he would make it to the WR1. So I am not surprised with his achievement. Because since the beginning, I was sure he would become World's no.1.


    - I heard that Momota was about to be expelled from high school. And back then it was you who defended and fought for him? Is that true?
    A : Yes that is true. There was a problem back then. Indisciplinary trouble. Just a common high schooler's trouble. He was indisciplinary and there was penalty for that there. So Tomioka High School called me in. I said, if this boy got penalty, it would affect his mental and will have difficulty to focus. Since after his he would have to participate AJC and then WJC. If this boy was to get penalty, I told them that Japan would not have a world champion. I told them so. Then the Principal said "Okay then, it's up to the coach. But you fix this". Something like that.


    - If he weren't Momota, that kind of mistake would result in getting expelled from the school?

    A : If the child doesn't have any basic extracurricular like badminton, he could be ousted. Because to them, the rules are the rules. But because this is a special case of an extracurricular pupil, we need to investigate the case first. So it can not be dealt equally, can it?



    .... to next post
     
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  5. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    ... continued


    - Momota is a very interesting athlete. He had been suspended because of the illegal gambling case with Kenichi Tago. Also got caught to be in the same room with Yuki Fukushima. Even though in the official announcement they were just talking in that room. Is Momota really that antique?
    A : Not really. The case with Kenichi Tago, he was purely invited. I knew it well.


    - If he was only invited, how come he went to the illegal casino for 6 times?
    A : It's like this, Japan is well known for the term of senpai-kohai relationship. So there was senority. And it was quite distinct. At that time Tago was Japan's no.1. In other words, before Momota, the one who broke through the international first was Tago.
    But he had never been WR1, never been WC. He felt he had become great. Automatically, Tago became the role model. At that time, Momota was still junior when Tago started to rise. In the end, he moved to NTT. And that was because of Tago too. Eventually, what I was dreading that Momota will follow Tago's example happened.


    - And Tago was known to had been in the illegal casino for 60 times...
    A : It was actually like this. The one who was targeted was Momota. Because he was the rising one after becoming WJC. It was the Yakuza kind of people who targeted him. They saw, how could there be a badminton player (in and out the casino)
    At the beginning, it wasn't too exposed because Tago wasn't that famous. Besides that, Tago's face is not selling. And when Momota started to enter the casino, this is it. That was why he was targeted. Actually, at that time Momota had already a public figure. As for illegal gambling it is still a hot business in Tokyo. So it was exposed because it was Momota.


    - Did you contact him right after the incident?
    A : Yes I did. In the morning I got calls from Japan Badminton people. I was asked, have you heard about the case? And for the whole day the news was all about Momota. My phone kept ringing. Two days later, his parents called me.

    So at the time it felt like all was over. Like there was no way he could make a career in badminton again because of this case. But I told his parents, for Tago yes it could be the end. But not for Momota, nver. Because Japan's badminton's hope is still in him. If he no longer could have a career in Japan, let's have him move here (to Indonesia). His parents asked me if that was possible? Of course it was. The only issue was that would Japan let him go? Right?

    At that time there was no confirmation about the suspension duration. But there would definitely be a suspension. I was sure Momota would never be over, because after this we have Olympics in Tokyo. As for Tago, his issues was not just this. He had so many problems. So, it didn't matter if Tago got cut. But this one (Momota), it was impossible.

    And that was the fact. If I recalled correctly I had even said to Fung (Permadi, PB Djarum's team manager) "Sir, if Momota couldn't play badminton again, can he move here? ". Fung answered, "That's easy, just tell Yoppy (Rosimin, Head of PB Djarum).


    - And you were right, in the end Japan kept him. That was a shame.. he he he. So after that case, Momota was at the very bottom. Failed to participate in Rio 2016, etc. But how he could bounced back so quickly. Even after the suspension, he could straight away became Asian Champion and World Champion back to back in 2018 and 2019. What was the biggest factor so he could make a come back that fast?
    A : Well that's it. If you want to be a champion you have to be delinquent first ha.. ha.. haa..

    So it was like this, after that incident Momota himself actually didn't think about it that deep. So, just relax. Ignored it. When that case happened, I observed that his face expression was relaxed. So why he could come back quickly? Yeah because he could respond well with problems. It seemed like there was no problem.




    - Ignorant, delinquent, not over thinking problem. Interesting. But that doesn't happen in training does it?
    A : Oh of course not. Even Momota is often be made an example because he never not focus. He is a very focused person. So it's normal to be delinquent. It's just naughty side of an athelte. It's outside of the court. But it was reasonable. There are many cases of champions not only in badminton. Compared to them, to me, Momota's is nothing.

    It's reasonable, I observe. Because of his super focus when he plays, so I think, he just gets relaxed and not thinking about it. So maybe to him, his thought was like "My purpose is this. So be it." But when he was under suspension, his training was still routine. Nothing changed. So, it was only his mind. My goal is to get here, to get here. No way he could do it without any training at all. It was not a problem because he was backed up with a very hard training everyday.




    - In an interview by Japan media, Momota admitted that the only one who could defeat him was himself. Is that so?
    A : If he feels that way, then it is. Last year I talked to him, during WC 2019, and I told him that no one can be that perfect and win and win again. Then I said, your goal is the Olympics. If you want to win now, then win it. But you have to consider about it more, not saying that he should lose. That's different. But I said, your peak performance should be in the Olympics.

    Superseries titles winners, undefeated, WR1, this, that, but don't even forget that your peak performance is in Tokyo Olympics. I said so. Because his dream was definitely it.


    - Momota is really an amazing player. Complete player. What do you think, technically, that is so special from Momota?
    A: The most special from him is his feeling. The way he read the play and his wit. It was included there. But also he was backed up with a good fitness, stamina I mean. His strokes are matured, his way of playing is matured.

    When to up the pace, his movement, when to lower the shuttle, when to initiate attack. He makes those decisions fast and very accurately. Why so? Because since he was young he never lost his focus. So, that's why, before he hit the shuttle, he will think first. That's not easy. That can only happen to people whose focus is very very high.


    - Can you put that kind of focus and feeling in shape?
    A : It can be because it is a part of his culture. After a long time, that focus can be like character. So, no matter what kind of skill you have, if you can't focus, that's tough. Especially in this era. The way to shape it is only from the training and the daily routine from the athlete himself.


    - Ideally, at what age should the character and focus shaping start?
    A : About 15 years and above. You can tell everything from that age. That's for male atheletes though. To me, 15 years old is the most important age. Children will have the desire to play so if their mind go everywhere else, it's normal. But for 15 years old, it needs to be focused to a very serious direction.


    To be continued to part 2.
     
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  6. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Interesting to hear from his junior coach who happens to be a non-Japanese individual with a different point of view. I know PJB is Korean but he has been living in Japan for a while now and being KM current coach, he wouldn't say that many details. Funny to imagine he could have play for Indonesia... but I imagine it could have also been a way to put some pressure on the NBA.

    Thanks @yuquall :D
     
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  7. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    even funnier to wonder if he would have become as successful if he did. momota might be laser focused but you also need that during training from your sparring partners. tony gunawan recently said "indonesia's team training tends to be lackadaisical compared to japan's team..." :D:eek:
     
  8. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Naughty and delinquent... haha... never thought those are 2 words associated with KM.

    Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
     
  9. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Here is the last part of the interview. I have tried to translate the whole interview according what the coaches said exactly how he said it sentence by sentence or at least to make the nuance as close as the original, but I notice that it made many parts sound weird lol. But it should be better than google translation... or I hope so. Don't blame me for that, blame the speakers.:p



    Special Interview with Imam Tohari, Kento Momota's talent's "discoverer" (2-end)

    Source : https://www.jawapos.com/sports/22/0...enemu-bakat-kento-momota-imam-tohari-2-habis/

    - You returned from Japan in 2013. Do you still keeping up with Momota and co's development?
    A: After returning from JApan in 2013, I was still coaching in PP PBSI. So we still had time to catch up in tournaments or events. At that time, Momota was just begininng to enter the Superseries events. To say it bluntly, he had not yet able to win.

    Momota asked to me "Why can't I win?". And I said to him "You were just born yesterday and you want to win already? At least, you need one, two years and then in the third year you should be able to finally get to this level. You can't just win it straight fresh from Junior level, even though you are a WJC. That's not possible! In the first year, you will be made "sick" first.

    You might make it in the second year. But in the third year, you must have already made some achievements. So he finally won Superseries title in 2015. (Singapore Open, Indonesia Open and WSSF champion. Momota became WJC in 2012)


    - That means, there were times when Momota felt frustrated in the transition from being WJC to the senior level?
    A: Yes, and that was only in one year too.


    - In other words, that showed how Momota was a very ambitious person?
    A: Yes, that's very correct. When you just go up to senior level you will be crushed and be in pain. But in the third year, you will have to have achivements. And that was what happened in fact. In that third year, not only he started to win Superseries titles, he had also constantly reached Semifinals. He was even a semifinalist in WC 2015. And he had once been the decider of Japan winning Thomas Cup in 2014. That was only his second year.


    - Even though you had become PP PBSI coach, did Momota still ask you for advises?
    A: Yeah, because I am like a parent to him I guess. Like a big brother, like a parent.


    - Let's return to the past. When you first met him in his middle school, he appeared very special?
    A: Actually at that time it was not only Momota. The special thing from Japanese people is the character. Their fighting spirit and how they do not want to lose. And those characters take affect on Momota. Because skill wise, Momota is above the average of Japanese players. Backed up with quilified character, which is very good for a badminton player.


    - Back then, there were 16 kids who came for the first time under your regime. One of them was Momota. It was obvious that he was the most special one?
    A : Yes. No one else came close.


    - Since he was little, Momota had shown this wayward characteristic?
    A: He had. But it was a natural and reasonable one. Not something that went too far. Nothing like that at all.


    - How did you shape him up to become a world class player?
    A: So it was like this. Japan's badminton at the time I was there, was not like what it is now. Because the achievements level in Japan wasn't like in Indonesia. In Indonesia, back then, being a world level was a compulsory. Back then, I had a chance to take Momota to Taufik Hidayat's place. I meant to fill his head up (inspire) him. Because in Japan itself there was no example for him to become a world class player. There was no role model.

    Well, I took him to Taufik's place and I showed him, there you go here is an Olympic champion and a World Champion. Momota was in year 9. That was the first time. Then I brought him along again when he was first year high school. So, it was twice. That was with the fund from Japan's association.

    Because if you are in school you do not have any fund. I mean, I asked the NBA to fund Momota's travel. For the flight ticket, training fee, etc. First I was asked, could he make any improvement if he trained there. So I answered them, how could you expect anything much if it was only a two weeks period of training in Taufik Hidayat's place. At that time, there wasn't GPR Taufik Hidayat Arena yet. But the place was in Ciracas. The point is, I wanted to show it to him. Look, here is an Olympics Champion and a World Champion.


    - What was the result after that?
    A: And only after that, Momota's mind started to open up. He knew what to do in order to become a top player, to become a World Champion and an Olympics Champion. And eventually, he became the first Japan's World Junior Champion. Also in Senior level. Therefore, the one who made history of Japan Bamdinton was actually Momota.


    - What was Momota's impression when he trained in Taufik Hidayat's place?
    A: Yeah it opened up (his mindset). I offered him again, do you want to come to Taufik Hidayat again? He immediately said yes. He used to say no. Because he was still very young so he felt intimidated. Well, you know children.


    - Can we apply Japanese culture to our players? Can we make an example of it?
    A: Japan's culture is very deep in roots. Let's say, discipline. That's what they are in daily life. So it was like as it was implanted in them. Just like how little kids who go to school themselves without any parent's company. That was from kindergarten. If it was close, they ride the bicycles. If it was far, they would take the public bus or school bus.

    They can go on their won. So since they were very little their culture they have been shaped that way. That is what is so extraordinary (of the culture).


    - Then what was the badminton coaching system like in Japan now?
    A: They have it in school, primary, middle school and high school. The base is from school. Graduating from high school then they will go to agency (institute) like Unisys or NTT. If they don't want to go to agencies, for say they want to go to University first, then they will study.
    But for badminton athletes, university studies is usually a waste of 4 years time. So Momota went straight to NTT after graduating high school. In Japan, there are only several clubs who are really focus and proper. In Indonesia there are Djarum, Jaya Raya for instances. Well, that's what the school there for. Only a few schools in Japan that are focused (in badminton).


    - When you arrived in Japan in 2002, the badminton's culture wasn't the same as it is now. So how did you start it?
    A: Oh, tough bro. Never mind world champion. Even winning in international level was like a dream come true. And it was only 2002. Because there had been no achievement just yet. Then after Athene Olympics 2004, Japan Badminton official had the idea to promote badminton through the media.

    So they picked some good looking players. At that time there were Reiko Shiota, Shintaro Ikeda, and Kumiko Ogura. There you go, these are 3 players who had the look and not bad achivements. They were promoted on TV. Intentionally so. Because they wanted badminton to advance in Japan. Moreover, after the Olympics 2020 confirmed to be held in Tokyo (in 2013,red)


    .... to next post.
     
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  10. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    ... continued.



    - To compare Momota's traning program with what we have in PB Djarum now, what are the differences?
    A: Badminton training programs are the same everywhere. Smashing, netting like that. It is even shorter time in Japan. Here we have morning and afternoon sessions. In Japan they had cut down the time for school. So they can have a maximum three hours training a day.


    - We have longer training here? So how Japan can finally have player like Momota's class?
    A: What differs is just how you enter the court. Focus in training or just daily activities? Training or just routine attendance? If it was only a routine, no matter twice a day or three times a day, it is useless. If you don't have the focus and the vision, it's all useless too.


    - Indonesia MS dominated the world in 1990 era. Can Indonesia MS be back at the top level again?
    A: It doesn't make any sense if they can't, really. Too much! Because they have the human resources. Facilities are provided. Programs are available. We also had history. How could our mindset be opened if we had no history?

    When I was little, badminton meant players like Joko Suprianto, Liem Swie King. That's how it was at my time. For now, the top one is Momota. Maybe there are Momota's rivals. Like (Antony Sinisuka) Ginting in Indonesia. Kids want to be like Ginting. But in achivement wise, Momota is way above at the moment. But he will make it there. Our boys do have the skill. If we combine Indonesia's skill and Japan's character, then it will keep on living.


    - To discover player seeds must be a tough task. What is your method to find a young player seeds that might shine to be world class players?
    A: Each coach has different method. As for me, so far I have been doing it based on my experiences. So it's like some kind of sense. When I was in Tomioka, there were Takuro Hoki, Yugo Kobayashi, ada Watanabe Yuta, ada Arisa Higashino, ada Ohori Aya. There were Momota's juniors. However, except Momota, I feel that it would be hard for them to be world's no.1. Going to finals, okay. Being champions, okay. High world's ranking, okay. But to become like Momota is quite difficult.

    Momota is a very special boy. If you compare anyone to Momota, it will be different. And the one who will change Japan's history is this boy. And the most important thing to do now is to protect this boy. To maintain everything. Including his mental and his mindset.

    Let's say from the Audition (Public Audition PB Djarum Scholarship,red) appeared one like Kevin (Sanjaya Sukamuljo). That was already a very amazing thing. From thousands of kids, we have one like Kevin showed up. At the beginning Kevin had small posture and wasn't attractive to the coaches. Because all players were projected to be single players. So this Kevin didn't seem attractive from that point of view. As for double, well, we hadn't had the thought about it back then. How could you play single with that tiny body? Well it is very difficult.


    - So, as we had mentioned Yuta Watanabe, I would like to know what was your experiences with Yuta like? He has small posture too...
    A: It's like this, when I coached Momota, Watanabe Yuta came. Both, Momota and Watanabe are left handed. Watanabe Yuta was Momota's junior. From what I saw physically and posture wise, his single wasn't bad actually.

    Even though he was small, his single was really good. When I returned to Indonesia I spoke to the staff and Watanabe Yuta's parents. I talked to them and I once said that it would have been a shame for this boy to play single. This kid has above average skill. So, it was better to focus in mixed double or double. Because, since the U15, his talet had shown. This kid was above average.


    - Did you watch when Yuta with Endo beat Marcus/Kevin in the final All England 2020? How do you reflect his game?
    A: Oh yes I watched it. Previously, when he was still in junior class I felt that this kid will be a top level double player. As for Momota is single specialist.

    When Momota was in third year high school, Watanabe Yuta was in third year middle school. Three years difference. There were other junios of Momota who are the finalist WC 2019, (Takuro) Hoki/(Yugo) Kobayashi who played against Hendra/Ahsan. Those two were exactly Momota's junior.

    Back then, if compared with Watanabe Yuta, these two boys were still a bit behind for the future. From skill, ability, both were still below Watanabe Yuta.

    I told Watanabe Yuta's parents to have him focusing in doubles instead. It would have been really hard for him to go high in singles. Posture wise and physical wise, it will be more supporting to play in doubles. That was what I said. His mixed parther was Arisa Higashino, also from Tomioka.


    - Yuta was spectacular in All England 2020. But can he be consitent to be in the top like Marcus/Kevin, for an example?
    A: It depends on his partner. His partner now, Endo, is already senior. Far above, 11 years difference. Endo is even older than Ahsan.
    I think, this pair will go on until Tokyo Olympics. Afer that, it will be reassembled again. Watanabe Yuta will find a new partner.

    Kevin/Marcus, I think, might be pretty much the same. Marcus will be until Olympics, and we don't know yet what it will be in the future.
    In my opinion, players like Kevin or like Watanabe Yuta, whomever they are partnered with, should be easy. Because both of them have skills above average. Just find a partner who is rather safe and have a punching power. That should be enough.

    Marcus is a back court player and he is safe. That is enough for Kevin. The same thing for Watanabe Yuta. There are many players at his age, they should be able to find a new partner for him. Because indeed individual skills wise, Yuta and Kevin are above average.



    -Fin-
     
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  11. yuquall

    yuquall Regular Member

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    Just a suggestion, maybe one should change the name of this thread to Kento Momota (Alternative thread) instead?:rolleyes:
     
  12. CLELY

    CLELY Regular Member

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    Lack of physical training regime.
     
  13. CLELY

    CLELY Regular Member

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    @yuquall You did great job to translate that news article from Bahasa Indonesia to English:)
     
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