Shanghai, China: World badminton champion Kento Momota made a lightning start at the BWF World Tour Finals in China on Wednesday, rampaging past India's overwhelmed Sameer Verma in just 36 minutes.
The Japanese star is looking to put the seal on a breakthrough year in which he has risen to number one in the rankings and become world champion for the first time.
It is all a far cry from 2016, when Momota was expelled from Japan's team for the Rio Olympics and banned for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino.
The 24-year-old had too much quality and power for Verma -- ranked 14th in the world -- thrashing him 21-18, 21-6 to confirm his status as the man to beat in Guangzhou.
Also untroubled in her opener was the women's number one, Tai Tzu-ying from Tawian, who defeated Zhang Beiwen of the United States 21-15, 21-17 in 30 minutes.