India Open badminton: Indisposed Brian Yang withdraws from semis

Canada's Brian Yang (right) with Tokyo Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen
Canada's Brian Yang (right) with Tokyo Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen

Brian Yang has withdrawn from the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022 tournament being played at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi. Unseeded Yang was to play in the men's singles semifinal against fifth seed and reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew on Saturday.

However, Yang of Canada conceded a walkover after complaining of a sore throat and headache. The player has tested negative for COVID-19, organizers said.

Yang created a record during the Tokyo Olympics last year by becoming the youngest men’s singles badminton player to compete at the Summer Games. The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the most promising shuttlers on the circuit.

“I am not feeling that well today. I don’t know what happened but suddenly I was feeling down and took the decision to withdraw from the India Open. I was looking forward to playing against Loh Kean Yew today,” Yang told Sportskeeda.

It would have been the third meeting between Yang and Loh Kean Yew in as many years. Singaporean Loh won both times.

Both Yang and Loh were part of a small group of talented shuttlers who trained with reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in Dubai last year.

Yang will also miss the Syed Modi India International 2022 HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament next week in Lucknow. Yang was seeded eighth in the tournament, which will be held from January 18 to 23.

“No I am not going. I will have to skip the Syed Modi India International tournament next week. I am very disappointed,” Yang said.

World No 39 Yang defeated India’s Kiran George 22-20, 21-15 in the first round. In the second round, the 20-year-old Canadian benefitted as sixth seed Sameer Verma retired early in the first game.

Brian Yang beat Kim Bruun of Denmark in the quarters

Yang ousted Kim Bruun of Denmark 21-19, 21-18 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Meanwhile, Loh Kean Yew reached his third straight men’s singles final on the World Tour.

World No 15 Loh will face either world No 17 Lakshya Sen of India or Malaysia’s world No 60 Ng Tze Yong in Sunday’s final.

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Edited by Sanjay Rajan
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