Japan’s world No.1 ranked player Kento Momota is hoping to avoid missing a second successive Olympic Games – this time in his own country of course – after being forced to miss the All England Championships in Birmingham.
Momota, 25, missed the Rio games in 2016 because Japan’s badminton officials suspended him for visiting an illegal casino, but he returned in 2017 and reached the top of the world rankings again.
In January this year, the taxi taking him to Kuala Lumpur airport after his victory in the Malaysia Masters – his 11th title in a record-breaking year - was involved in a crash that killed the driver and left Momota with a broken nose and facial injuries.
Expecting to miss two months at most, Momota was then told in February that the damage was worse than originally thought and he would need surgery to mend an eye socket.
"There were times when my spirit was almost broken," he said, shortly after his return to training. "I feel I am regaining the sharpness of my movements now. I really want to go for the gold at the Tokyo Olympics."
Taking place from 11-15 March at Arena Birmingham, the All England Championships bring together the world's best badminton players for the longest-running tournament in the sport.
England's Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, who have overtaken compatriots Chris and Gabby Adcock in the world rankings, will also be targeting a strong run in the mixed doubles.
Ellis is also playing in the men's doubles with Chris Langridge, with whom he won Olympic bronze in Rio in 2016.
Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour, the only British entrant in either singles draw, lost her first-round match to a seeded opponent but remains in the running for an Olympic place.
World number one Chen Yufei of China will be defending her title in the women's event.Copyright: Getty Images
The BBC has live coverage of all five days of the All England Open Badminton Championships.
Thursday, 12 March
Round of 16
11:00-20:00, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app
Friday, 13 March
10:00-15:00, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app
17:00-22:00, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app
Saturday, 14 March
09:00-14:30, BBC Red Button, Connected TV and online
17:30-22:00, BBC Red Button, Connected TV and online
Sunday, 15 March
12:00-18:00, BBC Sport website and app
Badminton is one of the most-played sports in the United Kingdom, with more than a million of us taking to the court each month - so, whether you want to play some casual rallies with a pal or have a competitive game, badminton is for everyone. It is an easy sport to pick up, most leisure centres have courts and you can hire racquets and shuttlecocks.