Dubai: The Rio Olympic champion Chen Long has withdrawn from BWF Super Series Finals in Dubai at the last minute citing a knee problem.
Chen’s withdrawal means Lee Chong Wei, who defeated Chen in the final of Hong Kong Open, will not get a chance to cross sword again with Chen on Thursday. Shi Yuqi will be the sole men’s singles player from China to compete in the tournament.
According to BWF regulation, there will be no replacements in the singles events after the draw is published. However, replacements in doubles and mixed doubles events may be allowed only with the approval of the tournament organizer or referee. Under the circumstances, the men’s singles Group A will be left with 3 players, namely Son Wan-ho (Korea), Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), and Angus Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong), while Group B consists of 4 players including Kidambi Srikanth (India), Shi Yuqi (China), Chou Tien-chen (Chinese Taipei), and Viktor Axelsen (Denmark).
It was reported that Chen had experienced knee problems after winning the China Open. Although he had arrived with the China team in Dubai, but was ruled not fit enough to compete at the year-end championships by the China team.
Chen had been scheduled to play his first match on Wednesday against Son Wan Ho, became the third high-profile badminton star to drop out of the tournament, after Carolina Marin of Spain and Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the women’s singles event.