Tuesday, 19 August 2014 | MYT 8:48 PM
Chong Wei’s quest made easy with Simon’s withdrawal
Simon Santoso has been diagnosed with dengue fever and was admitted to the hospital on Monday night.
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s quest for his maiden title at the World Championships title has been handed a big boost following the withdrawal of Indonesian eighth seed Simon Santoso.
Simon, who was drawn in the same half of the draw with Chong Wei for the Aug 25-31 championships in Copenhagen, has been diagnosed with dengue fever. He was admitted to hospital on Monday night.
The Indonesian only confirmed his participation a week ago, taking over the spot vacated by injured Du Pengyu of China.
Simon was one of the four players to have beaten Chong Wei in the past 12 months. He scored a comprehensive 21-15, 21-10 victory over the Malaysian in the final of the Singapore Open in April.
China’s Lin Dan, Chen Long and Japan’s Kenichi Tago were the other three with wins over Chong Wei. But only Chen Long, the second seed, will be playing.
Simon was not the only last-minute withdrawal as the Badminton Association of Indonesian (PBSI) also announced the withdrawal of men’s doubles champions Mohd Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
PBSI international relations manager Bambang Rudy Roedyanto said the world No. 1 pair were forced to pull out after Ahsan’s back injury got worse.
“It’s a disaster for us – what can I say. We are leaving on Thursday morning and we have no choice (but to withdraw them). They cannot play,” Bambang told the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website.
Earlier in June, Indonesia’s defending mixed doubles champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir had to withdraw from the championships following Tontowi’s ankle injury.