Dubai World Superseries Finals 2017: Chinese star Chen Long makes last-minute withdrawal from competition
What's the story?
Reigning Olympic men's singles champion Chen Long left the badminton world in shock as he withdrew from the upcoming BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals on Tuesday, according to Badminton Talk.
The Chinese star is said to have confirmed his decision after his morning training session, where he found he was unable to continue and take part in the season-ending tournament, which begins on Wednesday
In case you didn't know
Long is one of the biggest names in the world of badminton and is a two-time World Champion after his back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015. Currently ranked third in the world, he is also a two-time Olympic medalist, having won bronze in 2012 and gold in 2016.
The heart of the matter
The 28-year-old came into the Superseries Finals as one of the hot favourites but his surprise withdrawal is certainly a huge shock for his fans across the globe. In the draw that was made on Monday, the Chinese ace was drawn alongside Son Wan Ho, Lee Chong Wei and Ng Ka Long Angus.
His pullout, just one day before the tournament, will now mean that Group A will only feature three shuttlers and no replacement will be drafted in his place. This will be a massive blow for Hong Kong's Vincent Wong Wing Ki, who had finished in ninth place in the Destination Dubai Rankings and could have entered into the competition had Long announced his withdrawal earlier.
The tournament kicks off on Wednesday and will run till December 18. Two Indian shuttlers will be in the running for the title in the form of PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi.
It is certainly surprising to see Long withdraw just a day before a major competition and also, one can help but feel sorry for Wong Wing Ki, who has been deprived of a genuine chance to compete.