Following the withdrawal of China’s two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and Indonesia’s men’s single defending champion Simon Santoso, more players decided to follow suit in the 2013 Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series Premier tournament that kicked off on Monday.
“In total there are 6 players that have withdrawn from the tournament,” the tournament’s head of organizing committee F. Koesdarto Pramono announced.
Lin Dan withdrew from the tournament due to an injury suffered during the Badminton Asia Championship and Simon due to his hip injury. Both had also confirmed to skip the Singapore Open later this month.
Among the late withdrawals were mixed doubles defending champions Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand. The others were Srikanth K of India, Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong and Scott Evans of Ireland.
There were no details about their withdrawals. Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam won last year’s mixed doubles event after defeating Indonesia’s All England winners Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
Lin Dan, whose world ranking slipped to 68 after his eight-month hiatus from international badminton tournaments, was supposed to have played Indonesia’s Dharma Alrie Guna in the qualifying round. He was replaced by Japan’s Kento Momota.
The withdrawal of the 29-year-old Lin Dan quashed the prospect of the much anticipated match between him and either Indonesia’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat or world number one Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the second round.
Simon, who won last year’s tournament after defeating China’s Du Pengyu in the final, was to have played Dane Hans Kristian Vittinghus in the opening round. He has been replaced by Indian Sourabh Varma.
South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae will defend his men’s doubles title with a different partner after Jung Jae-sung retired from badminton at the end of the 2012 London Olympics. Yong-dae is now pairing with Ko Sung-hyun, with whom he won the 2013 Victor Korea Open after beating Danes’ Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen 19-21, 21-13, 21-10 in the final.
The pair advanced to the final later at the Malaysia Open but they lost to Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
With two defending champions pulling out of the tournament and one with a new partner, new faces are expected to become champions in the tournament.
More than 200 players from 23 countries vie for a total of US$700,000 in prize money, a $50,000 increase from last year.
— JP/Irawaty Wardany