Kento Momota (L) of Japan shakes hands with Chen Long of China after their men's singles final match.

Japan's Kento Momota shocked Olympic gold-medallist Chen Long to be crowned badminton's Asian champion in a stunning upset on Sunday.

The world number 17 had never previously won a game against Chen, but he floored the strong Chinese favourite 21-17, 21-13 at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan.

Momota, a compact left-hander, had Chen firmly on the back foot as he reeled off seven straight points to clinch the title in one hour when the world number three netted.


Kento Momota of Japan celebrates after winning the men's singles final match against Chen Long of China at the 2018 Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.

Momota clenched his fists in triumph and kissed the Japan badge on his singlet after his victory, which follows his straight-sets dismissal of Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals.

The 23-year-old's breakthrough follows a steady rise up the rankings, and comes after four previous defeats to Chen, a two-time world champion.

Earlier, Indonesian top seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir beat Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping 17-21, 17-21 in the mixed doubles as hosts China were denied another title. - AFP

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