PUTRAJAYA: The great interest shown by Malaysian media in the crash involving world's number one badminton player, Kento Momota has caught Japanese media representatives by surprise as they thought news on the Japanese player would not garner much attention here.
As such media representatives from Japan who were waiting at the Putrajaya Hospital today were astonished by pictures of Momota splashed on the front page of several Malaysian dailies at a convenient store.
A Bernama photo showing the Prime Minister's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali visiting Momota at the Putrajaya Hospital was featured on the front page of the New Straits Times as well as The Star's sports page.
Kyodo News Singapore and Malaysia Bureau chief Risa Suzuki said she did not expect the news to gain such prominence here as in Japan.
"It was on the front page too. I never know Momota has so many fans in Malaysia," she said, adding that such wide coverage also showed Malaysians are die-hard badminton enthusiasts.
The 25-year-old shuttler suffered multiple laceration wounds on the face and right maxillary sinus and nasal bone fracture in an incident involving him, his support staff and a Badminton World Federation technical officer.
A van ferrying them to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport crashed into a slow-moving lorry at KM13.7 of the Maju Expressway at about 4.40 am. The van driver B. Nageswarau, 24, who was pinned to his seat, died at the scene. -- BERNAMA