Beijing: The Tokyo Olympics women’s singles gold medalist – Chen Yufei of China was injured in a freak accident on Friday. Her right big toe was cut by the Li-Ning badminton shoes during a women’s team event group stage match at the 14th China National Games.
Chen was representing the Zhejiang team and was playing against Han Yue from the Fujian team.
The World No. 2 player got off to a slow start, losing the first game to Han Yue 16-21.
The second game looked more closely fought, even though Chen had to take few seconds to re-focus during every service. As she was leading at 10-8, Chen suddenly requested a timeout and asked the tournament doctor to help treat her right big toe.
After the medical timeout, both Chen and Han resumed play, but Chen could be seen to be very restrictive on her movement due to the injury, but she was able to rely on some high-quality shots to win the second game 21-19.
She changed to a new pair of shoes in the third set and managed to overcome Han Yue with 21-14 to help Zhejiang beat Fujian 3-0 and became the group champions.
After the match, Chen said that her’s injury was caused by a sudden tear at the front of her right shoe.
“The front of the shoe suddenly opened up during the match, and something like a thread or a steel wire cut through my right big toe. It affected my movement especially when I leaning forward. Fortunately, I was able to overcome it and it’s feeling better now,” said Chen.
The incident has prompted many people to question the quality of Li-Ning badminton shoes, and the company quickly jumped out to expressed concern over Chen’s injury and to perform some sort of damage control to its brand name.
“We contacted the Zhejiang team and Chen Yufei to follow up with her injury and to understand the situation,” said Li-Ning in a message published by that company.