Indonesian shuttlers to skip World Championships over Omicron concerns

PETALING JAYA: The Indonesian badminton team has withdrawn from the World Championships which starts on Sunday (Dec 12) in Huelva, Spain.

All-Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI), in a statement Wednesday (Dec 8), said the decision was taken due to the concerns over the outbreak of the Omicron Covid-19.

"The rapid spread of the Omicron prompted us to withdraw from the World Championships," said PBSI development and performance division head Rionny Mainaky.

"We don't want to take any risks. The safety and health of athletes are more important. We have discussed with the players and they agreed to pull out."

The withdrawal of the Indonesian stars is a massive blow for the world meet, especially in the men's doubles competition where they boast three highly seeded pairs.

They are top seeds Kevin Sanjaya-Marcus Fernaldi, second seeds and defending champions Mohammad Ahsan Hendra Setiawan and sixth seeds Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto.

The other notable contenders include the fifth seeded Anthony Ginting and seventh-seeded Jonatan Christie in the men's singles, Olympic champions and sixth seeds Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu in women's doubles.

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