Thai and Indonesian shuttlers join frontliners in fight against virus

PETALING JAYA: Thailand and Indonesia’s badminton stars have not forgotten the unfortunate people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thai mixed doubles pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, the world No. 3 who emerged runners-up at the All-England last month, have joined the efforts of their club SCG Badminton Academy to contribute to the welfare of the needy during the coronavirus outbreak.

With sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the pandemic, Dechapol and Sapsiree took it upon themselves during their country’s lockdown to help the frontliners in their fight against the deadly virus that has infected more than 2.3mil people and claimed around 161,000 lives worldwide.

The duo, who were silver medallists at last year’s World Championships, have worked hand-in-hand with SCG to produce face shields and donate it to hospitals in several provinces.

The other notable club members include head coach and former SEA Games gold medallist Tesana Panvisvas and Puttita Supajirakul, who partners Sapsiree in the women’s doubles event where they are ranked world No. 20.

The Indonesian national team are doing their part too as the Covid-19 situation in their country worsens.

Top players including men’s singles stars Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie, Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto (men’s doubles), Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (women’s singles) and Greysia Polii (women’s doubles) were among those helping out.

They came together to raise funds to donate daily supplies such as rice, instant noodle, sugar, cooking oil and other essential items to those whose livelihood was affected due to their country’s lockdown.

“In addition to daily supplies, we also provided them with protective masks, hand sanitisers and other protective and disinfection items,” said 2018 Asian Games men’s doubles silver medallist Rian in the Indonesian BA official website.

His partner Fajar said: “This global pandemic not only impacts Indonesia but the world. I hope it will end soon.

“As an athlete, I really miss competing as well as seeing my family. Due to the lockdown, I haven’t been home for a while.”

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