Tragedy struck early this morning when a van taking world badminton No. 1 Kento Momota to Kuala Lumpur International Airport collided with a truck along the MEX highway, killing the driver.
Momota suffered a broken nose, a fractured cheekbone, and required stitches following the accident, and was treated at the nearby Putrajaya Hospital. First responders, however, were unable to save the driver of the van, 24-year-old N. Bavan, who was killed at the scene. Three other passengers also suffered injuries, and are reportedly in stable condition under medical observation, according to Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“We are monitoring all of them very closely,” he told reporters at the hospital today.
“As the minister, we give our full commitment to ensure that they receive the best treatment.”
The other passengers were identified as Hirayama Yu, a 35-year-old badminton coach, and Morimoto Akifumi, a 42-year-old physiotherapist — both from Japan — and William Thomas, a 30-year-old British technical officer from the Badminton World Federation.
Momota was on his way to the airport after emerging victorious at the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2020 badminton tournament, where he won the men’s singles category.